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Riverhead highway superintendent: 2 town workers injured while helping motorists during storm

Two Riverhead Town workers were injured in falls while trying to help stranded motorists during Saturday’s nor’easter, highway superintendent George Woodson said.

Woodson said in an interview Wednesday that the incidents wouldn’t have happened if drivers obeyed warnings to stay off the roads at the height of the storm.

“At that part of storm, nobody should have been out,” he said. “If everybody heeded the warning to stay home, it probably wouldn’t have happened. I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened.”

Woodson said both highway employees were injured Saturday night. One fell off a payloader and broke two ribs while trying to help a stranded motorist, he said. Another slipped while getting out of a pickup truck to assist a different driver.

They are recovering and expected to be out of work for about a month, Woodson said.

Thirty-two Riverhead employees worked from 4 a.m. Saturday to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, with one three-hour break, to clear the town’s streets, the highway superintendent said.

Powerful winds complicated efforts in rural parts of the town, where snow continuously blew off farm fields to cover the streets, he said.

“I plowed three or four different roads going north six times, and every time it kept blowing back,” Woodson said. “It got so bad you can’t even see.”

Riverhead employees finished clearing the last packed snow and ice from the roads on Monday, he said.

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