LIers flock to sledding spot in Shirley

Sisters Madison Jannou, 10, at front, and Jade Sisters Madison Jannou, 10, at front, and Jade Jannou, 16, of Shoreham, go airborne over a mogul on the hill behind Briarcliff Elementary School. (Feb. 10, 2013) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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The hilly and snow-covered embankment by the William Floyd Parkway exit on Sunrise Highway, Exit 58 in Shirley, became a sledding destination for nearly 100 adults and children Sunday afternoon, who said they had felt stir-crazy after staying inside their homes Saturday.

Many of them, from hard-hit areas in Suffolk such as Mastic, were looking to escape after a day spent shoveling snow-packed driveways. They took to the slope on sleds, saucers and snowboards.

Cars lined the ramp for the westbound side of Sunrise Highway, at one point blocking a large truck looking to enter.

Some drivers spotted the hill while driving west on Sunrise. Others knew to look for it.

Phyllis Zolnowski, 58, of Shirley, brought grandson Nicholas Belosi, 8, to the same hill her own children used to sleigh down.

"Once we have enough snow, we know it's time to come to Sunrise Highway," she said.

Dan Knote, 44, of Speonk, said his two children spent the day indoors while he shoveled out his 70-foot driveway.

But Knote, a construction manager for the Long Island Rail Road, said he woke up Sunday morning feeling inspired. He passes Exit 58 each morning on his route to work.

"I just assumed it was open," he said. "There's only so many movies you can watch."

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