UPDATED: Between 40 and 50 Cars on Route 347; DOT Adding to Fleet

Close to 30 cars are reported to be stuck in the stretch, with "hundreds" in total throughout the county, according to the county.

Update, 3 p.m.: A state Department of Transportation spokesman estimated that the number of cars obstructing Route 347 is in the 40 to 50 range, higher than the roughly 30 cars originally reported by Suffolk County PIO.

While the state is bringing in more equipment from other parts of New York – parts where less snow hit than expected – to clear roadways, spokesman Beau Duffy said it would be at least a few more hours until the stretches of road near the Smith Haven Mall would be clear enough to create a seam to pass through.

In addition to the Lake Grove area – where motorists who were with their cars were escorted to Nesconset Fire Department to warm up – Duffy noted that the DOT is focusing heavily on a stretch on the Long Island Expressway, between exits 58 and 64, where scores of cars are believed to be buried.

A half dozen plows have already made their way to Long Island from out of the area, and several private contractors have been added to help clear roads as soon as possible, Duffy said. 

Original story: "Hundreds" of cars are stuck throughout the county – and close to 30 on a stretch of Route 347 in Lake Grove – as local firefighters attempt to dig out many people who stayed in their cars overnight after more than two feet of snow fell on the area.

Vanessa Baird-Streeter, spokeswoman for County Executive Steve Bellone, said on Saturday morning that several roadways in the county – namely, Routes 347, 112, and County Road 83 – were clogged with cars, making it even more difficult for snow plows to clear the street.

On Route 347, members of the Nesconset Fire Department were on scene, digging out stranded motorists and taking them to warm up. 

"I spoke with [Deputy Police] Chief [Kevin] Fallon, and there are some people who are near the Smith Haven Mall and Nesconset Fire Department has reached out to those individuals," Baird-Streeter said. "They are taking them to the fire department as a warming station if they would like to go."

Suffolk County Police public information confirmed that about 30 are stuck near New Moriches Road – making the road impassible in both directions – and that the Nesconset fire house is being used as a warming center, however a Nesconset Fire Department representative would not comment.

Baird-Streeter said she had not heard of any serious injuries, and added that Brookhaven Town Hall was opened up as a warming center on Friday night after multiple cars were stuck on County Road 83.

Selden and Farmingville Fire Departments responded to the Friday night incident.

A request for comment from the State Department of Transportation was not immediately returned.

Jane February 09, 2013 at 05:45 PM
We live in Nesconset, and it was the Nesconset responders that the reporter kept hounding with her stupid questions while they were working. Infuriating to watch.
Ralph February 09, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Either way not safe or smart.shop owners and employees should've closed early and been home.off dangerous roads during a blizzard.sorry but there's no way a job is worth lives.
Galatea February 09, 2013 at 06:01 PM
At least the MA governor declared a state of emergency and ordered everyone off the roads by 4pm yesterday. Too bad Cuomo didn't follow suit, or the county execs on LI
squaw February 09, 2013 at 06:31 PM
We most certainly DO NOT have the greatest highway department. They are not efficient in any way during any storm EVER. There were NOT plows dligently doing our neighborhoods since this storm started. Now we have elderly parents trapped inside a house with no heat because LIPA can not get in to help. We did not SEE ONE plow in our neighborhood or down or road yet since this storm starting at dinner time yesterday. NOT ONE PLOW AT ALL down our side roads. This highway department and the town of Smithtown are terrible!!!!!!!!
2th L8dy February 09, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Jane I agree, my daughter wasn't let out of work till 2 in NYC that's a good long hike on a good day.
Christine Sampson (Editor) February 09, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Hi Benice, We're trying to get confirmation on that. Thanks.
Argile February 09, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Don't you live in California now Marion? Why are you commenting on a town you no longer live in? And who needs to be on the road? Who do you think staffs hospitals? Right now the staff have been stuck there for over 36 hours because the roads have not been plowed.
CS February 09, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Smithtown Patch should do a story on Smithtown's response to town crises. I have not seen a SINGLE plow truck since this storm started, and my neighborhood is still snowed in. Vecchio is going to ask for our vote again, yet his incompetence and nonchalant attitude toward our residents in need borders on the criminal. They have not released any information to us regarding why this is this case, nor made any attempt to communicate with us. Is anyone else as angry as I am over this? It can't be just my neighborhood that is still snowed in, OVER 24 HOURS AFTER THE STORM BEGAN! UNACCEPTABLE.
Jane February 09, 2013 at 11:53 PM
We're still snowed in, but fortunately we have no place we have to go.
Joe February 09, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Georgie Porgie where r the plows..bzzzzzzz. Nissequogue residents
Joe February 10, 2013 at 12:13 AM
What do u not understand...this is a political game..commissioner of roads wanted $ to fix roads. Vechhio said no $ for that..now roads not plowed in a timely manner..bye bye vechhio....not a bad thing in the long run.
CS February 10, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Where are the plows?...Send in the Plows!
squaw February 10, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Absolutely share your thoughts. Called news 12 asking them to look into smithtown specifically as well. Getting no answers or help form anyone. I say the residents all bombard his office with phone calls Monday morning but doubt anyone really care. exactly as you said "his nonchalant attitude". Vote him out. We have not seen ONE plow or town truck at all in the last two days. Unforgiveable and needs to be exposed and looked into. Your comment was right on target.
Ralph February 10, 2013 at 01:15 AM
This is b/s! Where are the frkn plows! There's no excuse.What is going to happen when someone needs an ambulance and they can't get through?
Darry Bilco February 10, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Squaw - do you really think Vecchio will go to work Monday?? Or that he will answer a phone? His Sec'y will have to answer all those calls, and she probably doesn't deserve it. Call the Town Council members instead - at least one should be in Town Hall.
Tom bone February 10, 2013 at 02:06 AM
http://www.brookhaven.org/Departments/HighwayDepartment/HighwayDepartment.aspx. Email and call brookhaven. This is a joke
Ralph February 10, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Oh and I'm driving a lifted jeep.anyone with a car is not going anywhere w/o a truck.
Allison February 10, 2013 at 03:14 AM
You may not be happy with the state of your roads, I would like to point out that the men and women plowing the roads have been out since 7am Friday 2/8, they continue to move very slowly through the unplowed roads because they too are getting stuck, unable to move a 1 and 1/2 ton truck. Think of what it's like to be "digging out" for 39 hours with the inability to get dry clothes. Dont think to offer these workers a hot cup of coffee when they come through, dont offer them dry socks to put on their feet, remember that the best way to get your point across is to throw shovels at them when they come through your neighborhood.
Ralph February 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM
There's no excuse.sry I pay taxes like all residents and there's no reason our roads are not plowed.we'll see who screwed this one up when the smoke clears.We all heard the lipa b/s with Sandy.(There's a reason Keyspan took over)now Lets all hear some more after Nemo. Good luck & god bless.
Ralph February 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM
South shore got half the snow of the north shore and they are NOT plowed either!NO EXCUSE! NOTHING TO DO WITH HEAVY TRUCKS.WE'RE ALL WITNESS TO THIS POLITICAL B/S!
Harry February 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM
I called about the lack of plows yesterday. I was told all roads would be plowed by MONDAY AFTERNOON! They're kidding right? Cuomo sent help to Conn. and Ma. How about us? PS. Smithtown Hwy. Dept. does suck unless you're looking for drugs. LOL
Marie February 10, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Some of us had to work and couldn't leave until we were relieved. So blame the inconsiderate employers.
jetlagged February 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM
or school districts. It is shameful that there were kids on buses in the Smithtown school district up until 4:15-4:30.
Tom bone February 10, 2013 at 10:19 PM
I will buy them a steak dinner when I see them. I haven't seen any one
Dan Elton February 11, 2013 at 12:40 AM
What a joke. You must be a highway dept. employee or related to one. I lived most of my life in upstate New York, and whenever we got over a foot of snow you could always count on the major highways being clear. They used things called salt and sand, which apparently the highway dept. here doesn't know about. What I saw today is an absolute disgrace. I did not see one single plow capable of properly clearing the roads. The only highway department vechicles I saw were wimpy little red trucks with baby plows on them. So many cars wouldn't have gotten stuck if they had plowed 347 properly during the storm and salted it. I even saw an ambulance which had been abandoned in the snow. It feels like I'm living in a third world country. I don't blame the highway dept. specifically, though. I blame the administrators. They should all be voted out of office over this.
Tom bone February 11, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Just came out from a walk in port Jeff sta. it's like a natural disaster zone. Cars stuck everywhere and ford explorers stuck all over. The only vehicle that makes it around here is a BMW x5. All wheel drive. I'm trading my corolla for one. When I hit lotto
Michael Erhart February 11, 2013 at 08:18 AM
They say they are working hard and things are difficult,well when you wait till 3 feet of snow has fallen of course it's gonna be hard,we pay a lot in taxes,this is a disgrace,the other day there were flurries and I saw a lot of plows,there should be accountability for this screw up,I can go on but what's the use,they will make excuses and try to justify why things are the way they are and that will be enough not to be accountable,sad bullshit
josef February 11, 2013 at 01:36 PM
The Smithtown Highway Department was caught with it's pants down as usual. Anybody remotely connected with medium weight or light trucks will tell that two things are essentially needed for a snowfall like this one. My old grannie will tell you they are snow tires and or chains -what a joke !All of the machinery they have use summertime highway tires . Don't believe me, just look the next time you see one stuck or avoiding deep snow.
Michael Erhart February 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
They say they are working hard and things are difficult,well when you wait till 3 feet of snow has fallen of course it's gonna be hard,we pay a lot in taxes,this is a disgrace,the other day there were flurries and I saw a lot of plows,there should be accountability for this screw up,I can go on but what's the use,they will make excuses and try to justify why things are the way they are and that will be enough not to be accountable,sad
josef February 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM
This morning I put my garbage cans out into the huge snow drift by the half burried mail box. I'm sure the nieghbors got a good chuckle out of my faith in these hard working sanitation people as only one other did likewise. Well,the predictable took place,well handled garbage truck had no trouble at all - went right lpast where the town wouldn't venture. I reserve my comments on the mail delivery because it'still eearly


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