- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PORT JEFFERSON STATION, N.Y. (AP) - Snow was still piled as high as street signs on parts of eastern Long Island on Wednesday as residents continued to dig out from a deadly blizzard that dumped more than two feet of snow on the area.

Cars were fish-tailing on sloppy side roads while children pulled sleds through the streets in eastern Suffolk County, which was hit hardest. Schools are still closed in some towns, but most businesses have reopened.

Joe Santamaria, 48, an employee at a carpet store in Lake Grove, New York, said business was slower than normal because of the storm.

“It’s been hard to travel. The conditions are difficult and it’s been slow here,” he said. “We had to close early on Monday because of the storm and then we were closed on Tuesday.” He said the store’s parking lot was plowed Tuesday afternoon.

Santamaria bought a commercial snow blower to clear his driveway at his home in Deer Park to get to work Wednesday.

“Fifteen to 20 minutes later, I was done,” he said. “I moved two feet of snow.”

All county and state roads were clear and passable by Wednesday morning, but road crews were still working on side streets in the hardest-hit towns on the eastern tip of the island, said Justin Meyers, assistant deputy county executive for Suffolk County. Salt spreaders, plows and trucks have been shipped to towns that needed extra assistance, Meyers said.

“The towns and villages are working diligently to get the snow completely removed,” he said.

Suffolk County police reported two fatalities during the storm. One was a 17-year-old boy snow-tubing down a street with friends who crashed into a light pole and died. The other was an 83-year-old man with dementia who was found dead in his backyard.

In Southold, a rural town near Long Island’s eastern tip, officials were relocating huge piles of snow to community beaches and parks, said town supervisor Scott Russell. The town also was reaching out to volunteers who could help shovel driveways for older residents.

“We’re just focusing on getting back to normal,” Russell said. “Most businesses are back up and running.”

In Port Jefferson Station, 80-year-old Lee Kaplan said a neighbor cleared his driveway, but Kaplan was outside Wednesday morning shoveling snow that had blocked his mailbox.

“I’m 80 years old,” he said. “I’m past this.”

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