Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This 53-foot-long, 80-ton steel snow removal vehicle dubbed ‘Darth Vader’ is part of Long Island Rail Road’s winter weather arsenal. (Photo: MTA / LIRR)The weekend is coming early to the Long Island Rail Road after officials announced that train service will be limited to a typical Saturday-Sunday schedule on Friday because of a powerful winter storm barreling toward the Island.Reduced schedule also means the LIRR will not offer train service Friday on the West Hempstead branch or between Ronkonkoma and Greenport, officials said.The announcement was made by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who just hours earlier said the Long Island Expressway will shut down at midnight until 5 a.m.“The safety of MTA riders and employees is the top priority of the MTA,” Cuomo said. “MTA employees have been out sanding and salting platforms and walkways, but conditions can become difficult quickly during a winter storm.”LIRR customers accustomed to departing from the railroad’s West Hempstead branch can instead catch a train from Hempstead, Lynbrook, Valley Stream or the Merillon Avenue station. The MTA will provide bus service to riders between Ronkonkoma and Greenport, officials said.The MTA said it has already taken precautions in the event that the impending blizzard lives up to predictions. Snow removal deployment has already been deployed to “key locations” and special anti-freeze trains are being utilized to coat the tracks in anticipation of icing. Extra LIRR personnel have also been called on to assist at critical locations.Despite the measures already being taken to battle the storm, the railroad warned that snow accumulation of 10-13 inches could force the LIRR to temporarily suspend service to make way for snow removal equipment to clear snow from tracks. The LIRR has at its disposal a large steel plow, dubbed “Darth Vader,” to help with snow removal.Forecasters are predicting between 8 to 10 inches of snow starting Thursday evening and freezing temperatures possibly dropping to 10 degrees below zero.
UPPER Demerara Football Association’s (UDFA) Winners Connections and Milerock both registered comprehensive victories on Sunday to book their places in the quarter-final round of the Hamilton Green Cup Knock-Out football tournament.Playing under lights at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground (MSC) on Sunday evening, Winners Connections brushed aside Kuru Kururu 4-0, while in the feature event, Milerock made light work of Soesdyke, winning by a 3-0 margin.Witnessed by a sparse crowd, Keon Sears recorded a brace for Winners Connections in the4 24th and 31st minutes, while Marlon Davidson (5th) and Quintin Andries (15th) were the other goalscorers for Winners Connection.In the feature game, Denzil Fordyce found the back of the opposition’s net in the 15th and 72nd minutes.The other goal was scored by Royston Fraser in the 84th minute.Winners Connection will now await the outcome of the game between Mahaica and Golden Grove. This match is scheduled for Sunday at the Victoria ground, East Coast Demerara and the result will determine the team to oppose Winners in the quarter-final fixture.Milerock will also have to wait until Sunday to know whom they will face in their quarter-final match-up as they will come up against the winner of the Ann’s Grove versus Buxton/Bakewell match on Sunday.Meanwhile, the competition will continue on Friday at the MSC ground with a double-header that will see Silver Shattas take on Riddim Squad from 19:00hrs and Eagles United face Soesdyke from 21:00hrs.