Hundreds of cars got stuck on the Long Island Expressway as snow piled up Friday, stranding dozens of motorists in their cars for hours overnight.
Suffolk County got 30 inches of snow in some places. Officials said firefighters and National Guard troops had to rescue motorists and take them to warming centers. Among the rescued was a diabetic deaf man who spent the night in his car, authorities said.
Officials said cars began getting stuck Friday afternoon as weather conditions worsened. The stretch of road where cars became stuck is at least 6 miles long, and the trapped vehicles include police cars and fire trucks.
"It came down hard and fast and we've got a mess of a situation," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told NBC 4 New York Saturday.
Authorities say vehicles became backed up and couldn't pass one another, and mounds of snow from plows made it difficult for them to exit the highway.
Two eastbound tractor-trailers jackknifed in the snow, and even a snowplow driver became stuck.
"It has been a miserable experience for all who didn't heed the warnings not to drive," a police spokesman said.
Bellone said some motorists were choosing to stay with their cars Saturday.
The Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway are both shut down in Suffolk County except for emergency vehicles. Bellone said the roadways would remain closed indefinitely.
Authorities say no injuries have been reported.