Some schools close ahead of snow storm, others waiting and watching

Update (March 21, 9:30 a.m.): The Shoreham-Wading River School District will dismiss students early due to the storm. High school students will be sent home at 10:30 a.m., while elementary school students will be at 11:45 a.m.

All after-school and evening activities are canceled.

Originally (March 21,  a.m.): With a spring snow storm expected on Wednesday, some school districts on the East End have decided to close. Others have opted to open, but told parents early there would likely be an early dismissal, as the snow will get worse as the day goes on.

The Riverhead Central School District, the Riverhead Charter School, Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School and St. Isidore School in Riverhead announced Wednesday morning it would be closed for the day.

Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Gerard Poole said the schools would open at the regular time, but that he was continuing to monitor the storm and an early dismissal may be necessary. If that were to happen, high school students would be sent home around noon and elementary school students would arrive home between 1:30 and 2 p.m. He said he would update parents at 9:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, over on the North Fork, schools planned to start the day at the regular time, but warned parents dismissal time may change depending on the track of the snow.

A winter storm warning remains in effect from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

The latest forecast called for 6 to 12 inches of snow, with some sleet accumulation Wednesday morning. A map from the National Weather Service shows the North Fork’s forecasted snow accumulations at around 10 inches.

Early Wednesday morning, Peter Wichrowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Upton, said it all depends on how long the area sees the mix of rain and sleet, which would keep the amounts down. “The heavy snow looks to be, especially out east, early to mid-afternoon in and through tonight before tapering off Thursday morning,” he said.

Riverhead Town canceled all recreation and senior programs for Wednesday.

The day is beginning with a wintry mix that will gradually changeover to all snow later in the day through tonight. The snow will be heavy at times late in the day and Wednesday evening. The evening commute may be difficult with significant visibility at times.

With a combination of heavy snow and wind gusts — up to 45 mph at times — downed tree limbs and power lines are possible.

A coastal flood advisory is in effect on Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo credit: The National Weather Service says the North Fork will see 6 to 12 inches of snow fall on Wednesday. (Credit: NWS)

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