If you brushed off Monday morning's warning of an approaching snowstorm as a bit too early to get those shovels ready, the update isn't pretty: the snow is definitely coming and there will be a lot of it.
With snow still piled up in areas from the powerful blizzard two weeks ago, Long Island is set to get socked with another white punch as the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Weather service officials said Suffolk County could get blasted with between 10 and 18 inches of snow, along with winds gusting up to 35 mph. Those snowfall total predictions are on the rise as earlier forecasts called for up to a foot.
"There is going to be some heavy, heavy bands of snow," said Marcie Katcher, a spokeswoman at the weather service's Bohemia office.
Snowfall is expected to be the heaviest late Tuesday night into early Wednesday, Katcher said.
The storm, which approaching the area after dumping snow and ice as far south as Florida, will not come close to rivaling the Dec. 26 blizzard, Katcher said, but she still advised residents to "take all precautions necessary to insure that you are safe during that type of weather."
Long Island Contractors on Standby
The Long Island Contractors' Association's (LICA) members are on standby throughout Long Island and the metropolitan region to begin snow removal as soon as the first flake falls, according to a statement from the organization.
Pratt Brothers, Inc. and Watral Brothers are the LICA members which have already been enlisted to assist municipalities, educational institutions and other facilities in Nassau and Suffolk, as is Tully Construction Co., Inc. which has 15 machines positioned with the New York City Department of State (NYCDOS) and two with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on hand to bolster New York City's storm response.
"We want to ensure that residents have a safe and easy commute to work tomorrow morning," said LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst in a statement. "Pratt Brothers, Tully Construction and Watral Brothers are among the first to be prepared to lend a hand with the snow clearing efforts in our region as soon as the storm hits."
If you're on the road ... Winter Driving Safety Tips (Courtesy Suffolk County Sheriff's Department and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):
- If you think you may be heading into snow or there is a possibility of driving in the snow, make sure you do a maintenance check on your vehicle before making the trip. Check the vehicle battery, belts and hoses, anti-freeze, oil, lights, brakes, heater and defroster and check the exhaust system for leaks which may allow carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle.
- Plan your route ahead of time and give yourself extra travel time. Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
- Keep warm clothing available for when you exit the vehicle.
- Always clear any snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and the roof before driving. After starting the vehicle wait for the interior windows to clear of fog so you will have appropriate visibility.
- Make sure there is sufficient windshield washer fluid in the vehicle reservoir and that it is rated for freezing temperatures.
- It takes longer to stop on slippery surfaces, so add additional time to the three-second rule.
- Know the proper handling procedures for a skidding vehicle.
- Slow down in snow and icy conditions, make turns slowly, and make all starts slow and smooth.
- Remember that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the regular travel lanes of a roadway. Watch out for black ice, areas of the roadway that appear black and shiny and where your vehicle can suddenly lose traction. Slow down in these areas and keep your foot off the brakes.
- If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you have a cell phone and are in an area with cell phone service, try calling for help. Try to always know your exact locations while driving.
Winter Driving Survival Kit: It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you might be traveling into an area where you could encounter snow. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers. The following items are recommended for your winter driving survival kit ...
- Ice scraper/snowbrush
- Sand or other type of traction aid
- Tow rope or chain
- Booster cables
- Road flares or warning lights
- Gas line antifreeze
- Flashlight and batteries
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Small tool kit
- Extra clothing and foot wear
- Non-perishable energy foods, like chocolate or granola bars, juice, instant coffee, tea, soup, and bottled water
- Candles and a small tin can to hold the candle
- Water proof matches