MacArthur Airport was among the many places that were hit hard during Thursday’s snowstorm.
The combination of the 15.8 inches of snow accumulation with 55 mph winds, caused the airport in Ronkonkoma to close for a 12-hour period.
“It has been a long, very difficult storm,” said MacArthur Airport commissioner Shelley La-Rose Arken, who shut down the terminal from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
The airport had its first departure following the storm on Friday at 8:30 a.m., and first arrival at 10:25 a.m.
“When you have a storm, the severity of this one, and the conditions that we had… it’s like fighting two storms,” said Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter on Friday at the airport.
And it’s getting colder.
The NWS is reporting that temperatures will fall into the single digits Friday (6 degrees) and Saturday (3 degrees), causing officials to be concerned about the roads.
“We started off [plowing] at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and have been going ever since,” said Islip’s department of public works commissioner, Tom Owens. “Our challenge is ice and cold temperatures.”
“The worse thing you can have following a storm like this is extremely cold temperatures,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said at a press conference Friday morning.
When temperatures drop, Bellone explained, salt and sand become less effective in clearing off the snow, leading to icy roads.
“Major roads look good today,” said Bellone, “but it is still imperative that residents remain cautious due to the icy conditions and that they avoid unnecessary travel.”
Saturday’s high will be 12 degrees, with wind chills making it feel more like -5 to -10 degrees. Wind gusts could reach as high as 32 mph.
With the frigid temperatures, Bellone is urging residents to check on their neighbors.
“The reality is temperatures like this are extremely dangerous and life threatening,” he said.
He also gave the number for Temporary Housing Assistance for those without heat and shelter: 631-854-9547.
Top: Supervisor Angie Carpenter addresses media at MacArthur Airport on Friday. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)