Hundreds of Cars Litter NY Freeway

Long Island Expressway is a snowed-in parking lot
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2013 3:54 PM CST
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, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in Ronkonkoma , NY.   (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
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(Newser) – The Long Island Expressway looks like a scene from the apocalypse today. Hundreds of drivers who braved the Northeast's historic snowstorm last night are either stuck there or have abandoned their cars altogether, the New York Times reports. "It’s terrible. It’s cold. I don’t know how long I’m going to be here," says a nurse who's less than mile from her destination. "Are there any plans to help us?" There are indeed: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is supervising a rescue effort that includes some 300 plows.

But their effort is hindered by cars scattered across lanes and jammed on exit ramps. People with shovels have helped dig out drivers for a fee, but the cars barely make progress before getting stuck again. And with drivers being treated for hypothermia, Cuomo is coming under criticism for leaving the freeway open when Massachusetts authorities barred drivers from the roads. "We wanted to give people an opportunity to get home," says Cuomo. "We didn’t want to strand people at work." (Read more Long Island Expressway stories.)

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