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Storm 2011: Shovel, Rest, Rest, Shovel!

Originally Posted: January 12, 2011

Snow covered yards, decks and driveways will leave shovelers tired. (Eileen Casey)

Snow measuring a bit more than six inches at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in Sag Harbor.

Southampton - Yet another snow storm has made its way through our area causing school and event cancellations Island-wide, and leaving those who must shovel their way out battling gusty winds and freezing temperatures.

After dumping more than a foot of snow in Nassau County, the storm has steadfastedly made its way through Suffolk County, and is projected to move along the eastern seaboard around 12 noon today.

The sun is shining in many areas, however, this fast moving storm is expected to leave the Twin Forks with at least 12 inches on the North Fork, and six inches or more on the South Fork, although presently 15 inches have been reported on Shelter Island.

At MacArthur Airport arriving flights are not expected until 1 p.m., with outgoing flights presently scheduled to begin again around 2:30 p.m. Numerous flights have been cancelled at JFK Airport and travelers are urged to check with their carrier.

Suffolk Bus service has been suspended today, and the LIRR is reporting up to one hour delays with some suspended service. Buses are presently replacing trains eastbound to Montauk.

More than 700 power outages have been reported, mostly in Suffolk County, and you can call LIPA 800-490-0075 with any questions.

If possible, it is recommended to remove snow from vehicles before temperatures drop, and certainly before driving. Again, drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution, as many secondary roadways have not been plowed yet, and ice under the snow has created an additional driving hazard.

Officials have requested that for any non-emergency issues please call 631-852-2677 and not 911.

Additionally, Andrew X. Feeney, Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, encouraged the public to use extra caution when traveling. "If you must travel, slow down and give yourself extra time to reach your destination," Feeney said. "Be especially careful to watch for pedestrians and children playing near snow banks."

Feeney also advised travelers to ensure their vehicles are stocked with survival gear such as blankets, shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and a brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag in case motorists are stranded on snow-covered roads. "The best thing you can do when stranded in a vehicle is wait for help," Feeney said. "Run the engine for short periods, make sure the vehicle's exhaust pipe is clear of snow, and hang a brightly-colored cloth from your window to alert rescuers."

Feeney urged the public to take precautions when clearing snow from driveways and rooftops. "Cold temperatures can put an extra strain on the heart, and heavy exertion caused by shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car, can increase the risk of heart attack. Remember to dress warm and slow down when working outdoors. Take frequent rests to avoid overexertion. If you feel chest pain, stop and seek help immediately."

Feeney also warned the public about the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. "Carbon monoxide claims approximately 1,000 lives each year in the United States. It is produced by common items such as automobile exhaust, home heating systems, poorly vented generators, and kerosene heaters. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run generators indoors and do not run motor vehicles in a garage. If you use a kerosene heater, open a window slightly to vent the fumes. If you lose power, do not use charcoal to cook indoors and do not use a gas oven to heat your home." Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

Updated: January 12, 2011, 9:39 am
Appeared In: community >> community news