AAA: Long Island Expressway Should’ve Stayed Open

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -
Traffic is backed up on the Long Island Expressway just west of Exit 59 Ocean Avenue as payloaders clear snow from the road after a storm, in Ronkonkoma , N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Traffic is backed up on the Long Island Expressway just west of Exit 59 Ocean Avenue as payloaders clear snow from the road after a storm, in Ronkonkoma , N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

A major New York automobile club says the more aggressive plowing used in past storms should have been employed over the weekend to keep the Long Island Expressway open and avoid stranding motorists.

Robert Sinclair Jr. of AAA New York says members complained that the major thoroughfare should have been kept open by more frequent plowing. Even some tow trucks and plows were stuck.

Sinclair says state and local governments responded well but didn’t do enough before the storm struck on Friday.

Some areas got up to 30 inches of snow.

Dozens if not hundreds of motorists were stuck on eastern Long Island highways for up to 12 hours.

A New York State Department of Transportation plow is dug out of the snow after being stuck near Exit 60 eastbound on the Long Island Expressway, in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
A New York State Department of Transportation plow is dug out of the snow after being stuck near Exit 60 eastbound on the Long Island Expressway, in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

There was no immediate response from the Cuomo administration or from Suffolk County, which closed the Long Island Expressway. In a related story, Suffolk County police have set up a hotline 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.

The number is: 631-775-2001.