FARMINGVILLE, NY (MorichesDaily) — Frustrated Suffolk County residents who are waiting for their roads to be plowed are not alone — while authorities across Suffolk County are asking motorists to stay home Sunday — as crews worked to clear roads and downed power lines after the snowstorm.
Cars began getting stuck during the blizzard Friday afternoon because weather conditions were so bad, hampering efforts to keep the roads passable.
Authorities say vehicles are backed up and can’t pass one another, and mounds of snow from plows have made it difficult for them to exit the highway.
Abandoned cars still litter the LIE, County Road Rt. 83 North Ocean Avenue and Route 347 Nesconsent Highway where firefighters rescued over 20 people Saturday morning after they spent a long cold night stuck in their cars behind the Smithhaven Mall.
A Selden man was stranded for over 19 hours when he left work Friday afternoon in the Bronx, trying to get home to his pregnant wife. As he made the commute; closer to home the rain quickly turned to snow and initially he was caught in traffic near exit 50 on the LIE, just on the Nassau/Suffolk border.
He eventually got off at exit 63 — North Ocean Avenue — but the road was closed and the blizzard was kicking in full force. Just 5 miles from home his car got stuck, along with dozens of other motorists.
He and others stranded waited hours in their vehicles, but no help arrived.
His wife, due to give birth next week, was also stranded at home in Selden along with his young daughter and mother-in-law. While he was trying to figure out how he could get home the blizzard buried the area with near 3 feet of snow.
By Saturday afternoon, with no hope of getting home a good samaritan saw the man walking up North Ocean Avenue in the direction of Bald Hill. They offered to give him a ride and 19 hours after he set out to make the commute home the man was reunited with his family.
“In the end it turned out alright.. cause when I got home I realized I had a case of beer left over from the Super Bowl and it may have been the best beer I’ve had in some time,” he said.
Brookhaven Deputy Supervisor Daniel Panico sounded equally frustrated that roads remain unplowed, when he was interviewed this morning by News12 Long Island.
“I find it unacceptable that any neighborhood has not been touched at least once,” by plows, Panico said. He says that crews have been out around the clock, but adds that the town hasn’t received much-needed help from the state.
Addressing the dozens of cars that were stranded on Route 347, Panico says the town cannot remove cars from state roads. He says the town has not yet received heavy duty state equipment promised by state officials to clear the heavy snow from the roads.
Panico is urging residents to log onto the town’s website for help getting roads plowed.
Police said that at around 1 p.m. Sunday that they closed Route 112 in both directions at Pine Road in Coram, where multiple vehicles got stuck in the snow.
As the clearing proceeded — albeit slowly in some places — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo put out a statement Sunday saying was sending more than a third of the state’s “snow removal assets” to Suffolk.
“Suffolk County has not seen a winter storm like Nemo in years, and the massive amount of snow left behind effectively shut down the entire region,” Cuomo said in the news release.
“From the moment that it became clear that Suffolk County would bear the worst of the storm’s impact on New York, the state dispensed an unprecedented level of resources, equipment, and manpower to support local relief efforts. The state will continue to do everything possible to augment existing recovery work and will ensure that residents of Suffolk County can go back to life as normal as quickly as possible,” Cuomo said in the news release.
More than 529 pieces of equipment, including 412 additional plow trucks, and 731 operators arrived during the past 24 hours and through the night, the release said. More than 675 pieces of snow removal equipment and 975 personnel are currently in Suffolk, the release said.
Still residents in the hardest hit areas complained that the snow plows had not arrived in their neighborhood.
Earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a State of Emergency for the entire state, urging residents to stay indoors and off the roads.
National Grid took over storm preparations from the Long Island Power Authority for the storm, which the utility said could knock out power to 100,000 LIPA customers. At an evening news conference, officials said most outages would be restored within 24 hours of when they are reported.
The move marked the first time since LIPA’s creation in 1998 that it ceded control of operations and public communications during a potential emergency. LIPA owns the network, but National Grid has always operated the electric grid under contract.