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Blizzard Cleanup Continues In Below-Freezing Temperatures On Long Island

SELDEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Long Island is still digging out from Saturday's storm which brought record snow totals to Suffolk County.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, packed powder over ice still blankets roads in Suffolk County after a storm that dumped more than two feet of snow, the second highest daily snowfall on record.

Brook Nursery Drive in Brookhaven got its first snowplow pass Monday morning.

"I would say it was almost up to my knees. Two feet. Couldn't get out, and the street not touched, not touched," said Brookhaven resident Matt Hirniak.

In Selden, there was some frustration with the pace of the clean up.

"There are snow banks everywhere. None of the roads have been fully cleared. There's a lot of ice. The bus stops have not been cleared for the kids," said Selden resident Jennifer Ayala. "It could be better. It should be down to the blacktop."

But falling on a weekend gave plow crews needed time to get most roads down to the asphalt, earning praise.

"They worked around the clock. They made a lot of money, but they did a good job," one person said.

In Nassau County, the dig out is tough for those who waited.

"Now, anything that didn't get down to concrete is just an inch of ice, so now I'm scraping it out," said Garden City resident Tom Deierlein.

Others had a leg up, like Michelle Murphy, who just moved here from Ireland.

"Our neighbors helped us, because we aren't used to having so much snow, so quickly," Murphy said.

John Motta of Commack spent Sunday morning clearing his driveway.

"First I thought it was ridiculous when they were saying we had 20 inches of snow in Commack. After seeing this driveway, it's quite obvious, I was wrong. If anything, it's at least 20, if not more," Motta said.

Long Island's first blizzard in four years was also life threatening. A child in Southampton was hit by a car while sledding. Two people died while shoveling in Syosset. A man in cardiac arrest in West Islip.

Doctors explain the risk is not only the exertion, but also the cold which constricts arteries.

"The oxygen that's supposed to get to the heart decreases," said Dr. Nina Mirsakov of Catholic Health Physician Partners. "It puts extreme strain on your heart. They actually say it's more energy to shovel snow than to run on a treadmill."

Serious back injuries are also common.

"Always limit the amount of bending you're doing with the back, and try to do it with our legs, because the legs give you more power," said Dr. Rahul Shah. "That bending, twisting and torking, that torking is where we are most fragile. So if at all possible, smaller shovelfuls."

While shoveling, test your footing. Black ice can also cause dangerous falls - at least in Suffolk County, it could be around for a couple of days.

County Executive Steve Bellone is still urging caution as cold temperatures lock in the snow and ice.

"The cleanup of this storm will not be easy because of the temperatures that that we have now," Bellone said.

John Dias contributed to this report. 

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