Long Island digs out from massive snowstorm, resulting in one snow shoveling fatality

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TERRYVILLE, N.Y. — If it wasn't bad enough that blizzard-like conditions left the tri-state region under a thick, white blanket, the deep cold and high winds have made it that much more difficult for people to emerge out from under it all.

Particularly hard hit was Long Island, which was still digging out nearly 24 hours after the deep snow fell.

The so-called "bomb cyclone" winter storm was one of the widest-ranging, fastest moving storms ever recorded, having left snow on the ground up and down the East Coast, from Florida to Maine.

Parts of Long Island recorded some of the deepest snowfall of the entire weather event. That, along with winds gusting to more than 40 miles an hour on Friday, created a variety of challenges for local residents.

"That's the last one," said Rob Pacella, a Huntington resident, after sledding down a steep hill with his daughter, Mady, 5. The bitter wind, and the sub-zero temperatures that it brought, cut the number of trips down the hill on their sled to a minimum.

Those conditions also made snow removal challenging.

"I'd get halfway up [the driveway]", said Rich Aberman, a resident of Terryville, about his shoveling. "And I'd turn around and it would be coated again" with snow, he said. The high winds kept pushing more snow into his driveway.

PIX11 News encountered another nearby resident shoveling out her driveway in her pajamas, and without gloves. After helping resident Edeline Rodriguez finish clearing her snow, PIX11 News asked her and her neighbor why they didn't have greater protection from the hazardous weather conditions.

"I saw her and just wanted to help," Rodriguez's neighbor, Melissa, said.

However, their scene of shoveling without protection came on the same day that Suffolk County reported that three different county residents had suffered cardiac arrest while clearing snow from the bomb cyclone winter storm. One of the three, a county spokesperson reported, was a woman who lives in the Town of Islip, who died from her condition. One of the other two cardiac arrest patients was resuscitated at a nearby hospital. The other was treated.

The bottom line is that Friday's low temperatures, high winds, and deep snow are expected to be a challenge throughout the weekend, on roads and sidewalks where snow is still being removed, as well after it's gone. Ice is expected to be a problem.

"Actually, I got stuck in the road twice on the way here," said Lisette Cepeda, in her driveway in Terryville, which the National Weather Service listed as having the highest snowfall in the New York Metro Area, at 16.4 inches. Brick Township and other locations in Ocean County, New Jersey, got more than 18 inches, but they're officially considered to be part of the Philadelphia weather forecast area.

Cepeda's plight leaving her home was a further reminder of how the weekend's frigid conditions may pose a challenge. Her car got stuck again -- a third time -- as she tried to back it out of the driveway. Her father had to push it out into the street.