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Suffolk County Still Digging Out From Heavy Snow & Ice

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Many Long Island residents are digging out from more than a foot of snow Friday after a major winter storm.

A state of emergency that was issued for Suffolk County following Thursday's storm has since been lifted. Fourteen inches of snow blanketed Farmingville, Babylon got more than 15 inches and Selden topped the snowfall charts with 16 inches.

"Today is gonna be a day where we're doing clean up all day," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told 1010 WINS. "I think we're going to be able to get those roads down to asphalt by tonight."

According to Bellone, Suffolk County always seems to get the worst of the storms. There were 2,700 911 calls, 148 crashes and more than 150 others had to be rescued from cars, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported.

"Roads are still slick. They can be dangerous out there, people need to take precautions," Bellone said.

National Grid suggested homeowners clear snow and ice from gas meters and appliance vents.

Nearly every merchant in the Village of Babylon found it impossible to open, costing the local economy about 25 percent of its weekly business.

"My waitresses were all call calling me telling me their children were already out of school, schools were closed, they couldn't come to work," Chrissy Auer said at Glen's Dinette.

"The customer is not going to come in tomorrow and buy two cups of coffee to make up for the coffee that he didn't drink yesterday during the storm," Sal Gervasi said at Babylon Bean.

With streets and sidewalks impassable, Chamber of Commerce in Nassau and Suffolk said they agreed with county officials who said to stay home. Still, it's tough.

"We get very nervous. I mean, you worry about it personally in your own life, and then it's a second hit professionally," said Jacqueline Didonate, with the Babylon Chamber of Commerce.

Selden residents were hard at work shoveling, scraping and sweeping.

"Whatever was left on the car now is hard, very hard. I'm going to have to get out something stronger than the broom," said Selden resident Diana Cortez, who was trying to dig out her car.

The snow was far from light and fluffy, coming down sopping wet which makes digging out a long and strenuous process.

"What do they do with the extra snow? They're just plowing it and pushing it, they're not bringing in pay-loaders and lifting it and taking it out to other areas," a man named Hal in Farmingdale told 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria.

"It's very, very heavy. It's like buckets of water," said Armando Rivero of Selden.

"We had a storm a few weeks ago, this is probably four times as much. Usually we're able to finish up in a day or so. We're obviously now on day two and it's slow moving," said Port Jefferson resident Christian Neubert. 

For some, the deeper the snow means the deeper the pockets.

"The kids made money, they went around cleaning the neighbors' yards, so they did good," Cortez said.

As the temperatures dropped overnight, the snow turned to ice.

"We encourage people, if they can, stay off those roads. They are slippery," Bellone said. "If you have to be out, if you have no alternatives, just take it very slowly. Sometimes it's very hard to see that ice, but it is out there and it is dangerous." 

Bellone said there were more than 100 road rescues Thursday, but he agreed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on not shutting down the Long Island Expressway.

"We were able to stay ahead of the storm," he told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall. "You really need to shut that road based on the volume of traffic and the amount of snow falling, the plows just can't keep up. That's when people are going to get stuck in place. That really wasn't going to be the case."

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said that 911 calls during the storm were below average, but he had some advice for drivers.

"Make sure there's extra space between you and other motorists," he said.

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