Long Island Weather: Blizzard Hits Suffolk Hardest, Cuomo Says

Long Island Blizzard
Trucks plowing roads in Locust Valley Saturday morning. (Photo credit: Michael Damm)
Trucks plowing roads in Locust Valley Saturday morning. (Photo credit: Michael Damm)

Suffolk County was the hardest hit area in New York State after a Nor’easter rolled through Long Island and dumped more than two feet of snow on the region, officials said Saturday.

“Suffolk has sustained significant damage and significant hardship as a result of the storm,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a briefing Saturday morning.

In order to improve road conditions the governor said Suffolk would receive assistance from New York City and Nassau County, which will be sending additional crews to help plow streets to make roads passable.

The biggest obstacle facing crews Saturday morning are abandoned vehicles, especially on the Long Island Expressway, officials said. More than 150 cars were stranded, Cuomo said, complicating matters for emergency crews. No deaths were reported.

Late Friday night, authorities shut down all major highways in Suffolk, including the LIE, Sunrise Highway and Southern and Northern State Parkways.

“If this storm would have happened two hours later, the hundreds of people struggling to get home would have made it home,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “Emergency vehicles were dispatched immediately but emergency vehicles at this time were getting stuck. Fire trucks were getting stuck…We’ve never seen anything like this.”

Suffolk also saw the most outages, with more than 10,000 homes and businesses losing power, officials said.

The rest of the state, including Nassau, fared much better during the powerful Nor’easter, which dropped more than 30 inches of snow on Long Island.

Although New York suffered “statewide consequences,” according to Cuomo, the damage didn’t compare to Connecticut and Massachusetts, the two states hit hardest by the storm.

Cuomo said the state would deploy additional resources to aid both states, including utility and emergency workers.

Back on Long Island, the National Weather Service said roads remain “either impassable or treacherous.” Officials recommended that residents only leave their homes for emergencies.

“If you don’t have to leave the house for an urgent matter,” Cuomo said, “don’t leave the house.”

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