State of emergency lifted as crews continue to clear roads

01/03/2014 6:32 AM |

snowA state of emergency remained in effect through 8 a.m. this morning in Riverhead, as about five inches of snow had fallen throughout the town by 5 a.m., according to the office of Supervisor Sean Walter.

The snowfall has brought with it “dangerously low” temperatures, the supervisor announced this morning, as he urged residents to stay indoors as highway crews continue to clear roads this morning. Mr. Walter lifted the emergency measure at 8 a.m.

“Travel is not recommended,” reads a weather and travel advisory. “Roads are snow covered with major drifting on all north-south roads and roads adjacent to open spaces.”

According to the National Weather Service, six inches of snow had fallen by 4 a.m. at its station in Upton. And power provider PSEG — who took over for the Long Island Power Authority at the start of the new year — reported just a handful of outages (39 to be exact) as of 6:47 a.m.

In an interview Friday morning, the supervisor noted that the state of emergency would likely remain in effect through 8 a.m., and said town hall’s opening will be delayed until 11 a.m.

Highway Superintendent Gio Woodson reported whiteout conditions and said he’s seen about 4 to 5 inches of snow across town. Highway crews started hitting the streets around 11 p.m. last night, though after seeing a lack of snow on the ground, took a respite before heading back out at 3 a.m.

Crews are hitting the main roads first, he said, and following up with developments once daylight hits, he said, adding that winds make it a little hard to determine exactly how much has come down.

“All in all, we’re doing OK,” he said. “We just need the winds to die down.”

According to the NWS, coastal flooding remains a threat as well, particularly on the north shore. A coastal flood advisory is in effect starting at 10 a.m., ending at 2 p.m.

“Minor beach erosion will be possible along the twin forks area of the Long Island Sound.”

The town noted that in particular, Creek Road in Wading River and Beach Way in Baiting Hollow could be at risk.

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