02/01/15 7:00am
02/01/2015 7:00 AM
A car is buried in snow in Orient Tuesday. (Credit: Troy Gustavson)

A car is buried in snow in Orient Tuesday. (Credit: Troy Gustavson)

You kids today have no idea how easy you have it. That, in a nugget, is the first thought that comes to mind as I contemplate “The Blizzard of 2015.”

You call this a “blizzard?” I’ll tell you about a blizzard: “The Blizzard of ’78.” No, not 1878 — 1978! When men were men and blizzards were, uh, blizzards.  (more…)

01/03/14 1:00pm
01/03/2014 1:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead Town Building and Grounds manager Guy Cawley brings out the heavy equipment in Polish Town.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead Town Building and Grounds manager Guy Cawley brings out the heavy equipment in Polish Town.

Update: Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter announced Friday that with the plummeting temperatures, any residents who find themselves without heat can call the town at (631) 727-3200, ext. 312, and accommodations will be made for them in Riverhead Town Hall.

With snow tapering off late this morning, the numbers are in: according to the National Weather Service, Riverhead got pretty much exactly what forecasters had predicted, as the station reports 9.8 inches of snow fell in the hamlet.

The blizzard warning which is now expired had predicted anywhere from 8 to 10 inches falling across Suffolk County Thursday night into Friday, and an NWS meteorologist had said that the twin forks would be on the higher end of the scale, with western Suffolk on the lighter side.

In Baiting Hollow, the NWS reported that 8.5 inches fell in the area, while Orient reported the same total. Bay Shore got the most snow on Long Island with 12.5 inches.

Highway Superintendent Gio Woodson said around noon that about three-quarters of the plowing around town was done; he’s hoping to have all the streets done by 3 p.m., he said.

“We’re hoping the wind dies down so we can send everyone home,” he said.

Riverhead Town Hall opened up late today, and Supervisor Sean Walter at one point called a state of emergency last night in order to keep cars off the roads. Governor Andrew Cuomo even ordered the Long Island Expressway closed in light of the snowfall.

But with the snowfall now over, the next challenge Mr. Woodson faces is putting salt down before the roads turn to ice tonight. He urged driving slow; because temperatures are so low, he said it’s too cold for salt to melt any snow on the roads.

“Drive slow. Don’t rush. That’s the biggest thing,” he said. “And if you don’t have to be out there, don’t go.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone expressed concern for a “false sense of security” drivers may have now that the snowfall is over with and roads begin to clear up.

“My big concern is moving forward throughout the day, as people think it’s OK to drive, ice will be on the roads because of the extremely cold conditions,” he said. “People don’t realize, salt doesn’t work at a certain temperature. It’s going to stay there until it warms up.”

Joey Picca, meteorologist with the NWS, said that while a typical low temperature on Long Island would be in the mid-20s this time of year, overnight lows expected tonight could drop to the zero to 5-degree range. In order for salt to do its job on the roads, said Mr. Woodson, temperatures around 30 degrees would be ideal — though with the sun out, and more cars on the road, conditions are becoming more favorable.

01/03/14 6:32am

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.

01/02/14 4:35pm
01/02/2014 4:35 PM

UPDATE: Officials announced that the LIE will remain closed in both directions until 8 a.m., limiting traffic to emergency personnel.

ORIGINAL STORY: Long Island Expressway will be closed to traffic at midnight tonight, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced, as a snowstorm dumps anywhere from five to nine inches of snow tonight into Friday morning.

The LIE will be closed until at least 5 a.m. and a decision to reopen the highway will be made between 3:30 and 4 a.m., Mr. Cuomo said.

Mr. Cuomo said a state-wide state of emergency has been declared and he urged residents to stay off the roads.

In Riverhead, highway superintendent Gio Woodson said his crews are ready for the storm. Click here to read more.