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Snowstorm hits Long Island: See live updates

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had no plans to close any roads, highways, subways or airports in a press conference held in Suffolk County early Thursday afternoon. He added that the MTA has no plans to shut the Long Island Rail Road because of the storm.

    Xavier Mejía enjoying a coffee at Glen Cove Delicatessen after a long day of shoveling. #lisnow

    The sign says this Glen Cove store is open until 7 but like many places today, it's closed.

    Updated: Nassau Highway Sgt says cars stuck during blizzard "were no match to the enormity of the storm" #LISnow

    Terry Maighnath, walking with 2 dogs on Glen St. in Glen Cove, said he loves winter: "I grew up in Canada." #lisnow

    LI man trudges through snow to work, only to see it's closed

    Although plows had cleared snow from streets in Glen Cove, many sidewalks were not shoveled, forcing some pedestrians onto the roadway.

    Quevin Garcia, 17, was walking down Glen Street and Cedar Swamp Road Thursday afternoon after reporting for work at Dunkin’ Donuts -- and finding the doors locked and the restaurant dark.

    Garcia was wearing sneakers as he trudged through the snow near the side of the street as the few vehicles on the road passed by.

    “I’m not really prepared for the winter,” he said.

    Garcia walked past trees with snow clinging to branches and past blankets of white covering pavement and grass. He sees nothing beautiful about it.

    “I hate snow,” he said. “I hate winter -- the cold -- I hate everything about it. You have to dress with layers of clothes. I’d rather be wearing a tank top.”

    — David Olson

    LIRR late, but at least it came

    Roslyn Weiss had to travel from Glen Cove to Manhattan Thursday for work, but she didn’t even think of taking a snow day. She’s a nurse at a home healthcare agency, and she felt obligated to be at work, in case a patient needed her.

    “It’s about patient safety,” she said.

    Weiss took an earlier-than-usual Long Island Railroad train Thursday morning, to make sure she arrived on time. She was grateful LIRR did not shut down service.

    “I really thought I’d get stuck there,” the Glen Cove resident said. “I’m so happy they kept them running.”

    Weiss’s afternoon train arrived in Glen Cove about 20 minutes later than scheduled, because, she said, of track problems at Jamaica station. But, considering the heavy snowfall, “it was not bad,” she said.

    “They really did a good job,” she said of LIRR. “They’ve been very helpful.”

    — David Olson

    More than 1,000 still without power in E. End, official says

    About 1,100 Southampton Town residences are still experiencing power outages, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. 
    435 of those outages are in Hampton Bays. PSEG officials told Schneiderman they expect to have power restored to most affected households by 9:15 p.m. A few outages may not be restored until morning. 
    Schneiderman said he has notified police and town staff to be ready to open up an emergency shelter in Hampton Bays should power not come back on tonight. 
    He said school officials are weighing whether to schedule a 2-hour delay tomorrow. 

    -Rachelle Blidner

    Village Hall stays open for residents without power

    In East Hills, the village offices are closed for the day, said Mayor Michael Koblenz. The village hall is only open today for village residents who have lost power at home and need a place a safe haven.

    Koblenz said village plow trucks have been out all morning pushing away, but snow continuing to fall is creating a challenge for workers.

    “They’ve plowed through an area but one hour later, it’s right back there,” he said. “Unfortunately until this stops, it’s going to be hard to get the roads under control.”

    — Khristopher Brooks

    Cuomo: Don't think there's a reason to close roads

    There have been a number of accidents reported on Long Island, but Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he had not received any reports of injuries or deaths. In New York City, there was one death reported, but Cuomo said it was a heart attack related to shoveling snow.

    Several factors led Cuomo and his team to keep the roads on Long Island open. The state purchased “dozens” more snow plows this year, which means more workers and equipment are out there clearing the roads. And, the forecast for this storm is not as bad as in previous storms.

    “But you calibrate this call as you go through it,” Cuomo said.

    If conditions change later today, he and his team will revisit the decision.

    The danger, Cuomo said, is when motorists become stuck on the roads, causing traffic to back up and preventing snow plows to get through.

    “But, with this volume, with this amount of snowfall, right now I don’t think there is going to be a reason to close the roads,” Cuomo said.

    — Chau Lam

    LIers stay home despite taxes being due

    Glen Cove City Hall is open normal hours today, but by mid-afternoon, only five people had paid the first half of their Nassau County taxes, even though the deadline is Friday, said senior account clerk Amy Franklin.

    “Normally right before a deadline it would be very crowded,” she said. “People were smart and stayed home. Tomorrow it will probably be busy.”

    Most employees arrived as usual for work, and without the phones ringing and customers lined up at the window, Franklin and her co-workers have been able to catch up on other work.

    “It’s been a blessing in disguise,” Franklin said. “You have those things on the corner of your desk that aren’t a priority but you have to get done, and I could work on that today.”

    — David Olson

    Babylon store owner stays open during blizzard, says it's his duty 

    Jerry Pariaros sees it as his duty to keep working during the blizzards.

    That’s why his shop, Supreme Philly Cheesesteaks in Babylon Village, was open Thursday afternoon.

    “A lot of people are working,” he said from his perch behind the cash register, referring to plow drivers and emergency personnel. “They have to stop someplace to eat.”

    “It’s important,” said Pariaros, 48, who lives in Plainvew.

    The storm did not faze him.

    “It’s not bad,” he said, staring out at the snow banks on Railroad Avenue. “We’re New Yorkers, not Floridians! It’s part of our daily lives.”

    — Jesse Coburn

    Cuomo to state agencies: Let staffers go home early

    At a press conference in Suffolk, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has directed state agencies to let employees go home earlier today and urged businesses to do the same.

    “The low volume [TRAFFIC]in the road at his time is actually helping us because the plows can stay ahead of the snow,” Cuomo said.

    He’s worried about 5 p.m. when people are leaving work and snow is expected to continue.

    Cuomo’s office said that non-essential state employees in Suffolk and Nassau can leave work at 3p.m.

    “And, if you have additional volume that slows down the plows, and then that complicates the issue,” he said.

    On the ride out from Manhattan to Suffolk, Cuomo said he saw dozens of motorists stuck on the road and the off-ramps. Once again, he urged people to stay home.

    “Remember, it’s not only endangering your life, you are endangering the lives of other motorists and the over 4,000 workers who are out here to try to keep people safe,” said Cuomo.

    He said snow is tapering in New York City. But the storm is still dumping snow in Nassau and Suffolk.

    “The bad news is Suffolk is getting the brunt of the storm,” said Cuomo.

    The heavy snowfall, combined with winds gusts of 40-50 mph, makes a dangerous combination, he said.

    “This is not a storm that should be taken lightly,”

    Thousands of flights have been cancelled at New York-area airports, he said.

    “The situation at the airports is ugly, for a lack of a better word,” he said.

    — Chau Lam

    LIer: Storm is a 'double treat because the ocean is gorgeous'

    The blizzard may have closed schools and knocked out power in Southampton Village, but some residents still welcomed the storm with open arms.

    Leah Sellinger, 16, said she and her friends were heading to the beach to go sledding.

    “Anything where we don’t have school is fun,” she said.

    Tom Bourke went out for a stroll as snow heaved down around 1 p.m.

    “I always go out when it snows because it’s so nice and quiet,” Bourke, 55, said. “You don’t usually see it with no cars on Main Street.”

    Annemarie Siefert said her children had “a big sleepover” last night and “are having a ball” while home from school.

    “My kids are home and they’re playing in the snow. I want to get home and make cornbread and watch movies,” the financial services employee said as she left work because of the snow at 1 p.m.

    Siefert said she also planned to stop by the beach.

    “A blizzard out here is a double treat because the ocean is gorgeous,” she said.

    Jay Diesing, who left work at UBS because of a power outage, felt similarly.

    “We’re lucky,” Diesing said while trudging home through the snow. “Look how beautiful this is.”

    — Rachelle Blidner

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