A blanket of Snow
Blizzard dumps more than 15 inches of snow
By PEGGY SPELLMAN HOEY
Reprinted from Long Island Advance
Fickle ‘Mother Nature’ might have been
saving her best for last in Sunday’s blizzard.
Winds topped 70 mph at the height
of the storm and, when it was over, more
than 15 inches of snow had covered the
South Shore with a blanket of white causing
officials to urge residents to stay inside
their homes as the roads were cleared.
“We are still recovering,” Bellport Mayor
David Pate said in an interview Tuesday.
“We still have more snow to remove.
It’ll probably be another day before we get
things back to normal when you have this
much snow. I think the forecasted warm
temperature will aid us in that.”
Pate said the village was able to open
up all of the roadways for emergency vehicle
access pretty early on in the blizzard.
Pate said at least one tree came down and
a utility pole in Bellport but the village’s
highway workers was able to clear up the
scenes quickly. The wind proved to be
more of a nuisance than the snow because
it contributed to drifting that counteracted
the effect of plowing, Pate said.
“I think that [the storm] was deceptive
in that people looked at it as though it
was one of those storms we’ve had in the
last years where you could get around it,”
Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri said.
Like Pate, Pontieri also noted there
were major incidents throughout the village
between Sunday and Monday. For
the most part, Pontieri noted many drivers
were left stranded in the roadways
needing rescue, but nothing was serious.
Some stores and gasoline stations ran out
of their goods and supplies as well. Over
the next few days the village will continue
to shovel and plow, so that roadways, particularly
the areas around curbs, are wider
for people to pass. Extra special attention
will be devoted to the roadways around
schools, he said.
“We have to make sure that the school
[roadways] are all clear and passable,”
Pontieri said. “It was very important for
us to get the parking lot behind the retail
shops cleared,” Pontieri said, noting that
businesses like Blum’s department store,
The Colony Shop and other shops depend
on the last week of the year to boost their
sales. “This is a big week for them.”
Brookhaven Town Highways Superintendent
John Rouse referred to the blizzard
as one of the five worst snowstorms
over the last couple of years. Rouse said
a combined force of about 546 workers
including about 400 independent contractors
began toiling at around noontime on
Sunday. From that point, Rouse explained,
workers went into virtual “whiteout” mode
plowing and then replowing only what the
wind would replace in some areas of town.
Some areas had to be plowed several
times, he said.
“I am finally sending my [workers]
home to their families,” Rouse said. “They
will be back out at 3 a.m. sanding and salting
to make sure that we have a safe and
orderly rush hour.” ■
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