Blast of arctic air prompts Riverhead Town to open warming shelter

Riverhead is opening a warming shelter to combat extremely cold temperatures as part of an arctic air mass expected to arrive Friday and last through Saturday morning.

The Riverhead Senior Center at 60 Shade Tree Lane will be open Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a warming shelter, according to a statement from Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

The wind chill advisory was issued by the National Weather Service between 5 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday morning. 

The National Weather Service is recommending staying inside overnight on Friday. Dressing in layers and wearing a hat and gloves if going outdoors is also recommended to ensure that skin is protected from frostbite. The wind chills, “could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken,” the National Weather Service’s advisory said. Pets must also be brought indoors

Temperatures are expected to be in the 20s during the day Friday and will plummet to the single digits by early Saturday morning. 

Blustery northwest winds at 20 mph could make it feel as low as 15 below zero overnight.

In case of an emergency, dial 911. If you are in need of shelter, call the Riverhead Town Police Department at 631-727-4500.

Though Southold Town doesn’t currently have any warming shelters set up, Supervisor Scott Russell said staff is in place and can open one if needed in less than an hour.

“We’re on a tentative basis, we’ll open it if it’s determined that we need to,” he said. “Everyone and everything’s in place and ready to go should we need one.”

If needed in Southold, warming shelters would be located at the Human Resource Center at 750 Pacific Street in Mattituck and the town Recreation Center at 970 Peconic Lane in Peconic.