All Lanes of the Long Island Expressway Reopened After Massive Snowstorm

Three Long Island residents died as a result of the weekend blizzard that buried some parts in more than 2 feet of snow, police say.

James Scheinbach, 76, died while shoveling snow from the road Friday night, police said. He was discovered on the side of the road by passersby. Alan Lamb, 51, died of cardiac arrest while using a snowblower Saturday night, and Ludwig Farr, 81, was found dead inside a home. 

All three men were from Northport, according to police.

Hundreds of others spent the night of the storm stuck on the Long Island Expressway in such cold, ferocious conditions, one woman wrote what she thought might be a goodbye letter to her husband and children. 

The storm, which left 30 inches of snow in some spots on Long Island, forced drivers to abandon their vehicles and even snowplows to get stuck, leading authorities to close major highways to all but emergency vehicles. All lanes of the Long Island Expressway were reopened Monday. 

On Monday night, it was icy roads that forced Suffolk County Police to shut down Ronkonkoma Avenue in both directions from Express Drive South to Marion Street in Ronkoma.

Meanwhile, a water leak being tentatively attributed to a snow-weakened roof forced an evacuation and closure of the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, police said. 

The massive Northeast storm prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ask other towns and cities to send plows to help dig out on Long Island.

More than a third of all the state's snow-removal equipment was sent to the area, Cuomo said. Almost 1,000 personnel and a total of close to 700 pieces of equipment, including more than 400 plow trucks and hundreds of snowblowers, trailers, backhoes and tow trucks, helped to boost local recovery efforts.

The governor said it was one of the largest mobilizations after a winter blizzard in the state's history.

Suffolk County police have set up a hotline, 631-775-2001, to help people find vehicles that were moved during snow removal. The department notes that not all of the snowbound vehicles were moved at the direction of police.

Suffolk police also are asking any vendors who towed abandoned vehicles to call the hotline to say where they were taken.

A 27-mile stretch of the Long Island Expressway from Exit 57 in Islandia to Exit 73 in Riverhead was closed most of Sunday in both directions, so highway crews could complete the job of snow removal.

The Long Island Expressway was reopened entirely Monday morning for the first time since Friday's storm, a Suffolk County spokeswoman said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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