As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the aftermath of the blizzard has wrought tragedy. Police have confirmed five deaths attributed to the weekend storm – all of them from shoveling or clearing heavy snow.
The men were between the ages of 51 and 81, from Selden, Southhold, and Northport.
Dorothy Shannon also suffered a heart attack, and said she might too have been a statistic due to unplowed roads slowing rescue response. She was evacuated on a sled.
“I just got out,” she said. “I had a heart attack”
Shannon spoke to CBS 2 exclusively after she was released from the hospital. Her harrowing evacuation took two hours, and involved a rescue stretcher, a sled and dozens of volunteer Stony Brook firefighters who worked to save her life.
Twenty-four hours after the blizzard hit, Shannon’s street remained totally impassable. Her husband, Michael, called the Town Hall beginning to have the street plowed.
“I was alone in hospital,” Michael Shannon said. “Nobody answered the phones.”
Brookhaven Town Councilman Steve Fiore said the problem was that officials were missing in action.
“I mean, our town supervisor was in the Caribbean, and our acting superintendent of highways was out with a toothache or something,” Fiore said. “I mean, how crazy is that?”
Coordination and communication broke down, said critics of the Brookhaven town leaders. Brookhaven alone is as geographically large as Nassau County, with 380 square miles of roads to plow and parts hit with 30-plus inches of snow.
The Brookhaven, mounting criticism has led to the resignation of highway department acting superintendent Michael Murphy.
Murphy’s resignation took effect at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Murphy declined to speak with CBS 2, and his highway staff said he was away tendering his resignation.
“He is going to resign, and on behalf of the town board, I will accept that resignation, as the most thing for this town to ensure that we properly, and professionally and expeditiously clean up the roadways for the residents of this town,” Brookhaven Deputy Town Supervisor Daniel Panico said.
Panico said Murphy missed four days of work because of his toothache.