The blizzard conditions of Friday night’s storm left hundreds of motorists stranded in their cars on Long Island’s highways and roads. One woman, who spent 12 freezing hours in her car, wrote a note to her family, which she thought would be her last words here on earth, according to ABC News, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
Pricilla Arena thought her life was over when an Army canvas truck came to her rescue. She had gotten on the highway around 4 p.m. and the snow was piling up by the minute, Arena was just one of hundreds spending 12 hours or more stuck on the roads and highways of Long Island.
Other motorists had similar stories about sitting in their cars as the night grow colder and darker. One man almost made it home until a car came barreling down the wrong way of the highway forcing him off the road and into a snow pile, where he sat for the next 12 hours until rescue vehicles made it through.
According to ABC, In Suffolk County, which covers the eastern part of Long Island, about 200 people were stranded in their cars. When asked why the Long Beach Island Expressway wasn’t shut-down earlier to avoid motorist getting stranded, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said that the storm hit at the time that commuters were on their way home. As they inched along the highway, the snow just piled up in a matter of no time.
Closing a highway is not an easy feat, claims Governor Andrew Cuomo. He also said that the people were warned way in advance that the worst of the snow would come during rush hour. Cuomo urged other communities to help by sending plows to dig out the 200 plus motorists stranded in their cars.
On Saturday morning dozens of cars and trucks were stuck along the expressway in Patchogue and they were starting their cars periodically to try and stay warm. From time to time people could be seen peaking out of their frosty windows looking for help to come.
People were told to get off the roads early on Friday and the people stuck on the Long Island highways and roads paid the price for not heeding the many warnings put out ahead of this monster storm.
Restoring power to those who’s electricity went out has become a monumental task, as the utility trucks sent to help are getting stuck in the snow. About 10,000 homes and businesses were without electricity on the eastern half of Long Island. The utility crews are doing everything they can to get it restored today.