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Long Island

Scores of accidents seen on LI roads Sunday

Two people were injured when a car struck

Two people were injured when a car struck a pole on Central Avenue and South Central Avenue in Bethpage and another car slid into the first car minutes later. (Dec. 26, 2010) Credit: Kevin Imm

Authorities responded to scores of traffic accidents Sunday on treacherously icy roads and highways, and emergency management officials said conditions would not improve much until later Monday.

By 5 p.m. Sunday, there were at least 58 minor crashes on the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway in Suffolk and 20 calls for disabled motorists, said Michael Sharkey, a spokesman for the Suffolk sheriff's office.

Suffolk police officials said they had logged 100 car accidents in five western towns alone, with 30 minor injuries as of 6 p.m. Sunday.

"People spun out and went off the road," Sharkey said of most of the accidents.

"The road conditions are very bad. There's low visibility. Really, people should get off the road," he said Sunday night. "There's more people out there than really should be."

In Nassau, police and county officials could not estimate the number of crashes, but said they were busy responding to them.

Though snow was expected to stop falling by 5 a.m., officials said travel would still be difficult because winds of 35 to 50 mph would be whipping snowdrifts back onto the roads.

"So it's going to be a miserable morning commute," Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said, urging residents to wait until the afternoon Monday to run errands.

"By [this] afternoon, everything should be back to normal and people will be able to shop for what they need, so there's no need for people to drive in the middle of the storm," Levy said.

On the East End, where snow accumulation was not as heavy on the roads, officials warned motorists to stay home. High winds caused serious drifting, and officials expected a lot of snow to be blown off open farm fields overnight.

"I don't care what kind of four-wheel drive you have, you're not getting through it," Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter told News 12 Long Island about the snow drifts. "Stay home and have a cup of hot chocolate."

With Mitchell Freedman

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