Early snowstorm slaps North Shore with snow, traffic problems

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A snowstorm hit Long Island and the North Shore on Thursday, marking an early start to the winter. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Winter came a little early to Long Island this year – and people were not happy.

The first snowstorm of the season pounced on Long Island and the North Shore yesterday, snarling traffic and dumping up to half a foot of snow in some places rather than a “dusting” of snow.

Manhasset got 6.5 inches, the most in Nassau County, East Williston and Manorhaven saw roughly five inches, and Albertson and New Hyde Park received 4.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Much of was gone as of Friday morning.

The storm’s timing is also much earlier than normal. The average first day of snow in the New York metropolitan area is Dec. 14, according to weather.com’s analysis of National Weather Service data, or about a week before the official start of winter on Dec. 21.

The weather translated to cancelled school board meetings, as was the case in Manhasset and Roslyn. Thousands of people also lost power, according to PSEG Long Island, although most outages have been addressed as of Friday morning.

The storm also created commuting hell on both railways and roadways.

The Long Island Rail Road had delayed and cancelled several trains to and from Penn Station due to a slew of “weather-related switch trouble,” the agency tweeted. Delays lingered into the night “due to wintry weather conditions.”

On top of this, LIRR stations went uncleaned, according to Great Neck commuters Victoria Tsinberg and Yael Doliner-Katz.

“LIRR did not bother to clean platforms and stairs,” Tsinberg said. “Everyone slip slided their way off the train and up the stairs.”

Snow, slush and sleet meanwhile clogged roadways and snarled traffic, in many cases more than doubling or tripling commute times. It also caused a number of fender benders, Nassau County police said, with 190 accidents recorded during the storm.

One of the people who was “about to” be in an accident was Jyoti Aggarwal, a Vista Hill Road resident.

She said her SUV and other vehicles were “rolling down the hill” because there was no salt laid down until around p.m., and people had to help get her car into the driveway.

“Usually Vista Hill is the first one which gets cleaned after the snow and first to put salt on,” Aggarwal said. “It was really bad.”

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