Residents in Suffolk County are returning to normalcy after a hazardous nor’easter struck the area Monday and left over a foot of snow along some parts of the South Shore.
The winter storm event, which began late Sunday, dropped between 2 and 3 inches of snow per hour on parts of Long Island.
Heavy snow and strong wind gusts continued Sunday into Monday in Suffolk County, causing downed trees, branches and wires. The National Weather Service also warned of flooding along the southern bay Monday evening.
Approximately 308 of PSEG Long Island’s 1.1 million customers were without service Tuesday morning, with most of the outages in Suffolk. On Tuesday, PSEG Long Island had restored service to 99 percent of customers affected by the storm, according to a press release.
Suffolk County, Brookhaven Town and Patchogue and Bellport Village officials all issued a state of emergency Sunday in preparation for the impending snowstorm. Residents were urged to stay off the roads unless there was an emergency or if travel was absolutely essential.
By Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared a state of emergency in the county and 43 other counties across New York State. State-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites were shut down Monday and Tuesday.
Cuomo said the storm was “nothing to be trifled with” and deployed 130 New York National Guard members to areas expected to be hit the hardest to aid in emergency response efforts.
“Just from a safety and practicality point of view, you should not be on the roads – period,” Cuomo said in a press release. “There are going to be a number of suspensions and a number of closings. We want people to be aware of that... Bottom line is this is a serious situation.”
Long Island MacArthur Airport received 11.4 inches of snow as of Tuesday morning, according to unofficial data from the National Weather Service. Other hamlets followed close behind: 15.6 inches of snow were reported in Islip hamlet; 13.4 inches in Bay Shore; and 14.5 inches in West Islip.
Sayville received 11.8 inches of snow, while Patchogue was hit with 11 inches. Both of those estimates were made by the National Weather Service on Monday evening.
Suffolk County Department of Public Works began its response to the storm late Sunday, Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone said at a press conference Monday morning.
“This is a multi-day storm. It is not a storm that will be taken care of within just a 24-hour period. That is why we encourage people to stay off the roads, to give the plow operators the ability to do their work and do their job, because this is a very difficult and challenging storm and it’s going to go through multiple phases,” Bellone said.
Bellone noted that staying off the roads is for the safety of residents as well as first responders, plow operators and emergency crews.
At the press conference, Suffolk County police chief Stuart Cameron reminded residents to be cautious when shoveling snow and avoid overexertion.
“The message today is if you can stay home, then stay home. If you have to go out, be cautious,” Cameron said.
Additional snowfall on Tuesday, Feb. 2, was expected to amount to an inch or less.