The massive storm
The Nesconset Fire Department invited those people to their facility to warm up but, preliminarily, no one appeared to have hypothermia. Hundreds of vehicles, some abandoned, others with drivers inside, remained stuck on snow-covered roadways across Long Island late Saturday morning, nearly 14 hours after the largest storm of the season hit the region hard Friday night and into Saturday.
More than 50 vehicles were spread across both sides of Route 347 near the Smith Haven Mall at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday as strong winds lashed drivers. Some were trying to shovel out while others were waiting for tow trucks that were nowhere in sight. In other parts of Suffolk, firefighters were called to help motorists trapped in their cars all night and others complained about long waits when they called 911 for help.
Two major highways and all parkways in Suffolk are expected to remain closed for much of Saturday as officials faced the herculean task of clearing roadways of snow and abandoned vehicles.
but there were notable incidents, including a sheriff's bus that got stuck on the Long Island Expressway as it drove prisoners from court to the Riverhead jail.
Snow snarls on roadways were the story of the storm, especially in eastern Suffolk.
Hundreds of motorists abandoned their vehicles in Suffolk and even snowplows were getting stuck, leading authorities to close the LIE, Sunrise Highway and the parkways to all but emergency vehicles.
Edward Schneyer, director of Suffolk's emergency preparedness, said front-end loaders and payloaders have started to remove snow in a "zigzag" around empty cars. That will pave the way for plows to push remaining snow to the roadside and for tow trucks to come in to remove cars, he said.
"It's going to take some time to get these roads clear because some areas of the county have really high accumulations, and they've still got some blowing snow," Schneyer said early Saturday. "It's a wet, heavy snow, so it's difficult to move."