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Riverhead lifts state of emergency following winter storm

01/24/2016 5:00 AM |

Wading River Beach

9 A.M.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter lifted the town’s state of emergency at 8 a.m. Sunday following a winter storm that dropped between 15 and 18 inches of snow across Riverhead.

Hardest hit was Wading River where high tides caused moderate coastal flooding and power was briefly out due to downed power lines.

Town officials warned residents in coastal flood zone to watch out for rising waters at high tide again around noon today.

“Minor coastal flooding will occur during this morning’s high tide cycle,” the town said in a statement released by the police department. “Tides are expected to be one to two feet above normal due to the storm and the full moon, and will affect all areas adjacent to the North Fork.”

Caption: Wading River Beach shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

5 A.M.

The snowfall has stopped and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s travel ban ends at 7 a.m., but Riverhead Town authorities are asking residents to stay home Sunday anyway.

The storm, which dropped  a foot and a half of snow on parts of Riverhead Saturday, has led to expected continued hazardous driving conditions.

A blizzard warning remains in effect until 7 a.m. and a state of emergency has yet to be lifted in Riverhead Town.

“If you absolutely must leave your home after the state of emergency has been lifted, use extreme caution,” read an emailed statement from the Riverhead Town Police Department. “Make sure that you have a charged cellphone and a winter storm survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and call the police.”

Town officials were particularly concerned Saturday night with conditions in coastal areas, where an 11 p.m. high tide was expected to cause moderate flooding. Creek Road and the north end of Sound Road in Wading River experienced flooding earlier Saturday.

Governor Cuomo, who is expected to address the media again at 9:45 a.m., said the Long Island Railroad is expected to be back up and running in time for the Monday morning commute.

“The travel ban issued earlier today allowed emergency teams to make significant progress in clearing the roads,” Governor Cuomo said at a Saturday night press conference.

PSEG said it restored service to more than 25,000 Long Island customers affected by outages Saturday. No outages remain across the North Fork.

While the snow has stopped and the sun is expected to peek out later this morning, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing Sunday with a high of 32 degrees forecast for the area.

Check back for more details on local road conditions, flooding details and other storm-related updates as information becomes available Sunday. If you have photos or information you’d like to share with our staff contact executive editor Grant Parpan at [email protected] or by phone at 631-354-8046.

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