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In New York, Long Island walloped by storm

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — The harrowing images from New York’s slice of the massive snowstorm — people stranded overnight, cars abandoned on long stretches of drift-covered highways — were slowly being erased Sunday on the far reaches of Long Island.

Hundreds of snowplows and pieces of heavy equipment descended on a region battered once again by a storm to help clear the way for Monday’s commute.

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Plows slogged through the roadways of eastern Long Island on Sunday, making pass after pass on roads clogged by snow, ice, and sometimes cars.

Parts of eastern Long Island were slammed with 30 inches of snow from Friday and Saturday’s storm. Hundreds of cars got stuck on area roads including the Long Island Expressway, a 27-mile section of which was closed Sunday for snow removal. It was slow going, and as of early afternoon, snow was still packed on some highways.

Utility workers worked to restore power to just under 2,400 customers, down from a peak of almost 50,000. And that’s close to fulfilling pledges made by utility executives that nobody would be in the dark more than a day — a far cry from Hurricane Sandy, when hundreds of thousands were without power for days.

Nationally, at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm, which officials said were caused by car accidents, heart attacks, and carbon-monoxide poisoning. They included five in Connecticut, three in New York, two in Massachusetts, and one in Maine.

Steven Bellone, executive of Suffolk County on Long Island, said the goal was to have most major highways cleared down to asphalt by the end of Sunday.

More than a third of all the state’s snow-removal equipment was sent to the area, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, including more than 400 plows and more than 100 snow blowers, loaders, and backhoes.

‘‘The massive amount of snow left behind effectively shut down the entire region,’’ he said.

The Long Island Expressway was shut down Sunday morning and remained closed until nightfall between exits 57 and 73. The snow-removal trucks had to deal with not only inches and inches of snow, but a layer of ice. They also had to maneuver around abandoned cars.

On Sunrise Highway, which runs parallel to the Long Island Expressway, Dennis Lawrence of Bellport, N.Y., had already spent 90 minutes digging out the car he had abandoned and had at least another 30-60 minutes to go. He left it Friday after getting stuck on his way home from his job in New York City.

In addition to the snow from the storm, his car was buried by snow thrown by passing plow trucks. Meanwhile, the road surface was still covered with inches of snow, only occasional spots of blacktop visible.

All known abandoned vehicles were searched, and no one needing medical help was found, a police spokeswoman for Suffolk County said Sunday. The glut of stalled cars led to questions over whether officials should have closed roads, as happened in other states.

It was not just the roads that were affected. Cleanup was underway on the area’s commuter rails, the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad.

Service was restored on two of Metro-North’s three lines, said Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the railroad. Service on the third line, which runs between New York City and New Haven, Conn., was still out north of Stamford, Conn. On the LIRR, service was mostly restored, except on the eastern parts of Long Island.

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