Bellone urges residents to stay home during storm

Bellone urges residents to stay home during storm

Ducks at Niegocki Farms in Mount Sinai enjoy the snow Feb. 1. Photo by Tricia Niegocki

Suffolk County officials urged residents to stay home during a winter snowstorm that’s predicted to add a foot or more of additional snow and will pack winds that could gust as high as 50 miles per hour.

Tricia Niegocki of Niegocki Farms in Mount Sinai took this photo of her son going out to feed the farm animals Feb. 1.

“We ask people to stay off the roads today,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said at a press conference at the Department of Public Works Maintenance Shed in Commack.

Bellone and Suffolk County Police Department Chief Stuart Cameron urged residents to be careful when shoveling snow, particularly if they are unaccustomed to physical exertion, to check on older neighbors and relatives, and to be careful with snow blowers.

“Never put your hand in a snow blower,” Cameron said. Cameron said a resident tried to clear the chute of his snow blower during the last storm and injured his hand.

Bellone said residents who are in need of heating assistance can call (631) 854-9100. Residents who have non-emergency issues can call 311, while anyone dealing with an emergency should call 911.

At around 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning, a car sideswiped a police car. The officer went to the hospital with minor injuries and was released.

Cameron said the officer had been in his car at the time of the accident. Had he been outside the car helping a motorist, he could have been killed.

The overnight accident “highlights the dangers [officers] face when they’re stopped,” said Cameron, who added that the county has had a “variety” of accidents that are related to the storm.

Gaynor Park in St. James is transformed into a winter wonderland Feb. 1. Photo by Rita J. Egan

“If you have to go out, please be very cautious,” Cameron said.

Bellone said the storm and efforts to remove snow will last more than a day, especially as wind pushes snow back onto the roads.

“This is something we’ will be dealing with throughout tonight and into tomorrow,” Bellone said. Snow plows will still be on the roads tomorrow.

Suffolk County has shut down busses today and will provide notifications and updates about tomorrow.