11,024 of 19,119 Long Island Power Authority customers in Riverhead Town have been effected by power outages, according to an outage map on the power authority’s website.
Of those outages, 4,609 were reported in Calverton, 1,970 in Aquebogue, 1,154 in Riverhead, less than five in Northville and 3,290 in Wading River.
Reader Diane Sammarco reported that a tree fell on a wire on Stephen Drive in Wading River which caused a fire in the road. Riverhead Fire Department officials also report a transformer fire on Edgar Avenue in Aquebogue, across the street from the Aquebogue Elementary School.
Hurricane Irene, which has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, was expected to make landfall on Nassau County about 10 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm was downgraded about 9 a.m. and maximum sustained winds are now expected to be 65 mph.
So far, falling trees, and not flooding, have been the major problem locally as Hurricane Irene sweeps through the area.
Riverhead Highway Superintendent George Woodson estimates about 50 trees have fallen in town roadways, and that about half of those have fallen on power lines.
“There’s trees down all over,” he said. “The flooding wasn’t as bad as we thought.”
Several trees fell on Peconic Bay Boulevard, he said.
Riverhead Town Police sent out an advisory telling residents to expect coastal flooding as the tide is five to seven feet above average.
“We have numerous trees and utility poles down throughout the town along with widespread power outages,” the advisory states.
Motorist are being urged to stay off the roads when winds reach 55 mph.
The advisory also states town beaches and parks will be closed until Tuesday and Riverhead Town Justice Court will be closed Monday.
As Hurricane Irene moves ever closer to Long Island the lights have begun to flicker.
More than 3,000 Riverhead Town residents have already been affected by outages and temporary loss of power Sunday morning, according to the Long Island Power Authority. Nearly 200,000 LIPA customers across Long Island have been affected by the storm as of 6 a.m.
More than two-thirds of the locally impacted LIPA customers live in Wading River.
While the strong wind gusts are being felt across Suffolk and Nassau counties Sunday are still only tropical storm force, by 8 a.m. hurricane force winds are expected to be felt on Long Island. Gusts as strong as 75 miles per hour are expected to rip through the area, where another five or so inches of rain is expected to fall Sunday.
Hurricane force winds extend 90 miles from Irene’s eye and tropical storm winds extend 260 miles.
At 6:58 a.m. today, Kennedy Airport reported top gusts of 44 knots or about 50 mph. With the eye of the still storm about 95 miles south of New York at that time, tracking toward a landfall in Queens, higher gusts there and in the region were expected. The storm’s top sustained winds were 75 mph as it tracks up the New Jersey coastline.
To report an outage, call LIPA at 800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900 or go on line at: