Nor’easter’s severity surprises some on Long Island, but they still had to go to school

LONG ISLAND — East and north of New York City, Tuesday's winter storm had a real impact. Nearly a foot of snow fell in some locations, and in at least one of those locations, school was in session, much to the chagrin of many families.

"I'm very surprised the schools were open," said Donna Cardillo. a resident of Plainview, Long Island. "My streets weren’t plowed" in the morning, when children were expected to leave home for class.

Plainview's official snowfall amount, according to the National Weather Service, was 11 inches. That was more than twice as deep as the snow that fell there in last Wednesday’s nor’easter, and most of the snow the that fell in that last storm fell in the afternoon, long after students would have been in school. Still, the Plainview-OldBethpage School District canceled classes then.

It did not do so this time.

“I was waiting for a delayed opening, but no go,” said Meredith Radisch, the mother of two children in local public schools.

By contrast, in neighboring Suffolk County, all of the public schools were shut down.

“It's a good day to hang out with my son,” said one Suffolk resident, whose seven year-old son was among the 250,000 students out of school.

Just across the county line, in Plainview, the schools superintendent commented on her decision to not let the students stay home.

“Weather forecasting and its interpretation makes decisions about school closing a difficult one for all superintendents,” wrote Plainview-Old Bethpage Superintendent Lorna Lewis, in a statement. “This is not an exact science as the forecasting changes by the hour. We do our calls early in the morning by reviewing our ability to transport students safely to an from school and also consider the impact of staffing our buildings. Today was a particularly difficult one for us at POB as we are so close to the storm line for Suffolk. Please be assured that the decision made to keep school open today was done with all the parameters for safety considered. With the exception of Bus 33, all of our buses arrived close to or on time and as the snow has now stopped, we will get our children home in a timely and safe manner later today. Thank you as always for your support and understanding.”

Another key factor in the decision to keep the schools open was pointed out by second grader Aleena Iqbal, as she disembarked from the yellow school bus that had brought her home from a full day in class.

“We ran out of snow days,” she said.