How are you getting home? Nor'easter threatens commutes


It's spring — at least as far as meteorologists are concerned. But that doesn't mean winter storms are out of fashion.

Long Island is bracing for a nor'easter storm rolling in beginning Monday evening and through Tuesday that is expected to bring with it high winds and lots of rain. And it could make any travel a bit of a headache over the next couple days.

The Long Island Rail Road will work to stay ahead of the storm by pre-positioning crews and diesel locomotives as a way to minimize service disruptions, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Additional crew will be out and about beginning this afternoon looking for possible track, signal and power challenges caused by flooding, washouts, downed trees, and other potential storm damage. They'll be equipped with chainsaws, pumps and other supplies.

For those who depend on cars, bridges and tunnels are expected to remain open, although tractor-trailers and tandem trucks will be banned on beginning at 10 a.m., on Tuesday. 

Bridges are equipped with embedded roadway sensors for temperature and above-ground atmospheric sensors that deliver real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation back to MTA officials. If conditions begin to worsen, bridges and tunnels could see further restrictions and possibly closures.

As for the storm itself, the National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory for Southern Nassau County and Southern Queens beginning at 11 p.m., on Monday, and continuing until 5 a.m., on Tuesday. Officials expect between one and two feet of inundation above ground level, near the waterfront and shoreline. That means some roads and low-lying property — including parking lots, lawns and homes and basements near the waterfront — could experience shallow flooding.

Also expect breaking waves as high as seven feet on the shoreline, resulting in beach erosion and flooding along the oceanfront during high tide, with only minor erosion to dune structures.

National Weather Service officials give caution to anyone traveling, allowing for extra time as some roads may be closed. Do not drive around barricades, or through water where you can't determine the depth.