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.