As Long Island's South Shore continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy, a Nor'easter brought high winds, heavy rain, snow and even hail to the area Wednesday.
In Malverne, West Hempstead and Lynbrook, a wintry mix of wet snow and sleet started falling around noon, and the precipitation and winds continued to intensify in the following hours. By Thursday morning, the communities were all blanketed in 6.5 nches of snow.
The power went out again at West Hempstead High School and Middle School during the school day Wednesday but came back on about 10 minutes later. It looks as if the storm may also have knocked out power to several hundred homes in Lynbrook. The Long Island Power Authority had reported Wednesday morning that the number of homes in Lynbrook affected by outages was down to 410 but by 3 p.m. it had risen to more than 1,500.
For the thousands of other residents who had been waiting in the dark since last Monday for their power to return, including 2,600 in Malverne, 1,600 in West Hempstead and Lakeview, the Nor'easter will most likely delay restoration. LIPA posted a statement on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, explaining:
"Today’s weather may impede our restoration efforts, because we must also ensure the safety of our workforce. Rest assured that our crews will continue to work as long as, and whenever, it is safe to do so."
As of 3 p.m., utility crews from Wisconsin continued to work in Malverne, saying that compared to the weather they are used to back home, the conditions were not that bad.
And for those who either regained power in recent days or never lost it, LIPA warned customers that "this storm could cause additional damage in our area, resulting in additional power outages."
The snow and rain was also exacerbating the already dangerous driving conditions in Malverne, Lynbrook and West Hempstead, where traffic signals at busy intersections -- including two on Ocean Avenue, one on Hempstead Turnpike and two on Hempstead Avenue -- have been knocked out for more than a week due to Hurricane Sandy. To make matters worse, the train crossings on Ocean Avenue and Hempstead Avenue in Malverne started malfunctioning just in time for the evening rush hour. The Malverne Police Reserve spent the night controlling traffic near the crossings.
While the Lynbrook School District opted to remain closed Wednesday because of the storm, it was the first day back for many students including those in the West Hempstead and Malverne School Districts. The West Hempstead School District canceled all after-school activities for Nov. 7 and The Lynbrook School District, Malverne School District, Our Lady of Peace, Our Lady of Lourdes and HANC also decided to shut down Thursday.