LI towns clear away snow as plows make repeated passes

Fernando Leon shovels snow in Stony Brook. (Jan. Fernando Leon shovels snow in Stony Brook. (Jan. 22, 2014) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

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Motorists shared the road with snowplows and salt spreaders Wednesday as communities across Long Island worked to make roads, blanketed by more than a foot of snow in some places, passable.

Just after dawn, cars moved slowly behind four plows staggered across the eastbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway near Exit 55 in Brentwood.

State work crews had plowed all roads under their jurisdiction and were working Wednesday to clear "push-outs" -- mounds of snow pushed back onto roadways when people clear sidewalks and driveways, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transporation said.

De-icing work was to continue as needed overnight, and the snow crews become pothole crews Thursday, spokeswoman Eileen Peters said.

Officials in local governments across the Island said their roads were mostly clear, although many on the East End required plowing later as remnants of the storm moved eastward off the Island.

Brookhaven officials said they received few calls about the town's snow-clearing efforts Wednesday, and most of those were positive.

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"It was nice to come into work today because people were actually calling up with compliments for the highway department," spokesman Frank Petrignani said.

That wasn't the case on Feb. 8 and 9, when a blizzard snarled roads throughout Brookhaven.

Smithtown Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen said the biggest challenge was plowing the same areas several times as winds of up 30 mph blew snow back onto roads.

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"Each of my trucks was assigned areas, and they had to plow it four times," he said. Salt and sand put down before the storm arrived Tuesday morning aided with the plowing, he said.

The Town of Riverhead lifted its state of emergency at 8 a.m. Wednesday but there were still snowdrifts to clear, especially on north-south roads, Supervisor Sean M. Walter said.

County officials in Nassau and Suffolk said all roads were passable for the morning rush.

Nassau used 8,000 tons of salt and sand in the storm, depleting its 2013 reserves down to just 5,000 tons, County Executive Edward Mangano said. The county is expecting its first 2014 delivery of sand and salt Thursday, he said.

Babylon Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer said, "The main roads are clear, and secondary roads have been passed through at least once."

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In Long Beach, snowdrifts and icy roads remained a problem. The city suspended recycling to allow vehicles to sand and plow at least twice, officials said in a statement.

With Sarah Armaghan, Bill Bleyer, Deborah S. Morris, Jennifer Barrios, Ted Phillips, David Schwartz, Lauren R. Harrison, Denise Bonilla, Aisha Al-Muslim, Robert Brodsky and John Valenti

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