Riverhead digs out of winter storm that dropped more than a half foot of snow

And now, we shovel.

A winter storm that dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of Long Island has passed, leaving residents on the North Fork and beyond to dig out of it.

Snowfall totals of between seven and 14 inches were reported across Suffolk County Monday. East Hampton had the lowest reported total at 7.2 inches with about 14 inches falling in Manorville and Shoreham, according to data provided by the National Weather Service. No official snowfall totals were reported in Riverhead or Southold towns.

While some snow could fall Tuesday and even Wednesday, little to no additional accumulation is expected. The high temperature is expected to reach 40 degrees Tuesday, though it will dip back below freezing at night, the agency reported.

The storm impacted schools across the North Fork with each one either closing for a second straight day Tuesday or moving to remote learning.

In Riverhead, garbage collection was canceled for a second consecutive day Tuesday. Officials in both North Fork towns urged residents to stay off roads if possible, as they continue to be cleared.

While some power outages had been reported on the North Fork Monday, they were restored as of Tuesday morning, according to PSEG Long Island.


Update: Monday, 5 p.m.:

With a nor’easter continuing to bring snow and rain to the region, some schools are already making plans to adjust their schedules for Tuesday.

The Riverhead Central School District announced it will be closed Tuesday for a second straight day with no remote instruction.

According to the National Weather Service, 12.3 inches of snow was recorded Monday afternoon in Manorville.

Update: Monday, 2:20 p.m.

Riverhead Town police Chief David Hegermiller said police have responded to seven motor vehicle accidents as of 2 p.m., as well as 11 aided cases, typically requiring an ambulance.

He said the snow was starting to transition to a mix of rain.

“It’s getting heavy,” he said. “It’s supposed to be all rain overnight and then more snow tomorrow.”

One power outage was reported in Wading River near Wildwood State Park affecting approximately 14 customers as of 2:20 p.m.

Update: Monday, 11:45 a.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for Suffolk County, as well as Nassau, NYC and several upstate counties, late Monday morning.

Several roadways such as the Long Island Expressway could face travel bans if snowfall rates reach the expected two to three inch per hour rate, according to the governor. A travel advisory also notes that delays should be expected on the Long Island Railroad.

“New Yorkers are being urged to avoid all unnecessary travel,” the governor’s office said in a press release.

Anyone who must travel should do so with extreme caution and try to reach their destination before noon, the release said.

“This storm is no joke and the main concern right now is that the expected snowfall rate of two inches per hour this afternoon creates an extremely dangerous situation on our roadways,” Mr. Cuomo said. “When snow is falling that quickly, it makes it very difficult for plows to keep up with it.

Wind gusts could reach 50 mph or more on Long Island, especially on the East End.

No power outages have been reported on the North Fork as of 11:30 a.m.

Update: Monday, 8:30 a.m.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the storm that arrived last night is “a major event,” and will be a multi-day storm.

“This is a very difficult and challenging storm,” he said during a press briefing in Commack. “It’s going to go through multiple phases. Right now we have significant accumulation on the roadways, but still the worst is yet to come.”

High winds will kick up later in the day, pushing snow back onto roadways, the county executive said.

“It’s also going to make it difficult to drive and for the plow operators,” he said.

Most of the accumulation is expected to still happen later in the day. He said the heavy snow creates a concern about potential power outages. He said the county remains in contact with PSEG Long Island.

Mr. Bellone said Suffolk buses will be shut down Monday.

Mr. Bellone said anyone in need of assistance, such as for heating, can call 631-854-9100. Anyone with a non-emergency situation can call 311. And emergencies should be directed to 911.

“Bottom line, this is a significant storm that we are facing today,” Mr. Bellone said. “The challenges are going to get worse throughout the day. The winds are going to be kicking up. The snow will be coming down at a rapid rate. And with those high winds, that combination, you’re going to be looking at potentially blind-out conditions. So please stay off the roads.”

Suffolk County Police Chief of Department Stuart Cameron reminded residents to be safe when venturing outside to clear snow.

“The message here today is if you can stay home, stay home, and if you have to go out, please be very cautious,” he said.

(Credit: Grant Parpan)

Update: Monday, 6:30 a.m.

A winter storm that has already dropped several inches of snow across the North Fork will continue into Tuesday morning with five inches or more still to fall, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency upgraded its advisory for the region to a winter storm warning and has said between 6 and 14 inches total could fall on Eastern Long Island. A graphic shared by the NWS early Monday morning shows the North Fork predicted to receive about 8 to 12 inches.

Wind gusts could be as high as 60 miles per hour and the snow is likely to change over to a sleet and rain mix late Monday afternoon. It could turn back to snow in the evening, the NWS said.

The winter storm has already led to the closure of all local school districts as snow emergencies have been declared in both Riverhead and Southold towns. North Fork town and village officials have urged residents to stay home if possible and to keep their vehicles off the streets.

In Riverhead, garbage pickup was pushed back to Tuesday. Both Riverhead and Southold town halls are closed Monday, as is Village Hall in Greenport.

Southold Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said Sunday night that crews were expected to be on the roads by 1 a.m. It is likely to be a prolonged effort.

While snow remains in the forecast for Tuesday it is likely that less than an inch of additional snow will accumulate, according to the NWS.

Sunday, 7 p.m.

Several North Fork school districts have announced plans to close Monday as a storm is expected to bring heavy snow to the area beginning early in the day.

• The Mattituck School District will be closed along with all before and after-school activities.

• The Southold School District also will be closed along all before and after-school activities.

• The Greenport School District will also be closed Monday with no remote learning. “Wishing our staff and student a safe day,” Greenport Superintendent Marlon Small said.

• The New Suffolk Common School also announced it will close Monday.

• The Oysterponds School District announced Monday will be a remote learning day.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Feb. 2, according to the National Weather Service, so schools could still be impacted for Tuesday as well.

Sunday, 7 a.m.

A winter nor’easter is expected to bring between five and nine inches of snow to the northeast beginning in the overnight hours into Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency, which has issued a winter storm watch and a coastal flood warning, is predicting more than a foot of snow elsewhere on Long Island. While the East End will likely see less accumulation, weather should still have an impact on schools and the Monday morning and evening commutes.

Light snow is expected to continue into Tuesday, but the bulk of accumulation is expected during the day Monday. About one to three inches is likely to fall overnight tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

“Winds could gust as high as 60 mph,” the agency said in its winter storm watch.

The snow, part of a larger winter weather system expected to impact much of the northeast and midwest, could mix with rain as temperatures are expected rise above freezing in the late afternoon and evening Monday.

It is the first major snowstorm of 2021 and the second of the season. A storm that brought close to a half-foot of snow to parts of the North Fork led to school closures in December.

Extended forecasts show it’s possible the North Fork could be hit with more snow next weekend.