COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Highway crews passed over wind-whipped snowdrifts multiple times, as residents slowly began digging out from as much as two feet of snow following a blizzard that forced officials to preemptively close roads and commuter rail lines overnight Tuesday across Long Island.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for Suffolk County until midnight.
The National Weather Service said at one point, snow was falling 2 inches per hour in Suffolk. By mid-morning, snow accumulations had exceeded 20 inches in some spots.
By Tuesday night, Orient saw 28.5 inches of snow, Southampton was hit with 28 inches and Medford measured in at 25.6 inches, CBS2 Meteorologist Elise Finch reported.
“We are still dealing with a real storm here in Suffolk County,” County Executive Steve Bellone said “While many parts of the region may feel like they dodged a bullet, that was not the case here in Suffolk County, we were hit by it and we were hit hard.”
“Suffolk took it right on the chin,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
But help is on the way, according to the governor.
“What we are doing is redeploying all the assets that we had in the mid-Hudson and New York City and we’re moving them all to Suffolk County,” Governor Cuomo said.
As CBS2’s Elise Finch reported, plows were still out in Eastern Suffolk County late Tuesday, and residents in Mattituck still had their work cut out for them.
“I still have shoveling to do. I have two feet of snow in front of my neighbor’s house,” Lauren Combs said.
Plows made steady progress throughout the day and overnight, thanks in part to the travel ban.
Suffolk County police reported two fatalities. In Huntington, a 17-year-old boy snow-tubing down a street with friends crashed into a light pole and died. In Bay Shore, an 83-year-old man with dementia was found dead in his backyard Tuesday morning.
A county police spokeswoman said there were only two car accidents reported during the storm — a likely result of a travel ban that Cuomo imposed downstate ahead of the blizzard.
“We saw fewer accidents, less than a handful of accidents here in Suffolk County, and in my mind there is no doubt that that is directly attributable to the governor’s decisive action in implementing a travel ban,” Bellone said.