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Police Chief: Stranded Cars, Motorists Rescued

Travel still prohibited in Riverhead.

Friday night's powerful storm left a number of residents stranded and resulted in a string of fender benders on treacherous roads, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said Saturday morning.

"We had our share of accidents and stranded people," he said.

The main area where motorists found themselves in need of assistance was on Route 25A in Calverton, Hegermiller said. "That's always been a popular spot for stranding. Back during the blizzard of '82 we had the same thing happen, right there. Maybe it's because it's where the two roads come together."

One rescue, Hegermiller said, stood out. "Even working together, with cooperation, we were unable to get a motorist in Wading River out. We were getting stuck, the plows were getting stuck. The Wading River Fire Department came out and assisted us. They sent out a brush truck and were able to help."

No motorists remained stranded on Saturday morning, the police chief said.

Hegermiller said while no serious accidents have been reported, a series of fender benders were called in as motorists found themselves trying to navigate slick roads. 

Riverhead police banned travel early Sunday morning and suspended plowing until daybreak as conditions worsened.

Residents, Hegermiller said, are still ordered to stay off the roads. "We have to give the plows time to work."

State highway crews were just beginning to head east on Route 25 Saturday morning, he added. "It will be awhile before the roads are in any shape to travel."

No flooding was reported around Riverhead on Saturday morning, but another high tide is expected at lunchtime Saturday, Hegermiller said.

The police chief had two words for residents: "Stay home," he said. "Hopefully, by this afternoon things should be a lot better."

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