After over 40 cars were stuck on a stretch of Route 347 near the Smith Haven Mall between Friday night and Saturday morning, Nesconset Fire Department crews – with the help of surrounding departments – pulled some 20 stranded motorists to safety following the wrath of the Friday night blizzard.
According to Asst. Chief John Martins, 42 vehicles were assisted in total, on both the eastbound and westbound sides of the state highway, which was cleared by Sunday.
Units from St. James, Kings Park, Smithtown, and Stony Brook Fire Departments, and Suffolk County Police Department helped bring the people who had stayed in their cars overnight to warmth at the Nesconset fire house.
"I couldn't tell you why they stayed there, but there was so much snow, so quickly, I guess that was how they got stuck," said Martins.
"We had about 45 fire fighters from various fire departments evaluating the situation and helping people who were stuck," he added, saying crews were on scene from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Martins said he was aware of one person who was hospitalized at Stony Brook University Hospital.
A State Department of Transportation spokesman said he was unsure what time Route 347 was cleared, but as of Sunday morning, all state roads in Suffolk County were passable, except for a stretch of the Long Island Expressway which is being worked on until 5 p.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent over 500 pieces of extra equipment to Long Island in the storm's aftermath to help remove snow, which totaled over 30 inches in some parts of the county.