02/28/13 1:00pm
02/28/2013 1:00 PM
COURTESY PHOTO  |  The greenhouse at Trimble's of Corchaug Nursery was one of a handful to fall on the North Fork during the blizzard.

COURTESY PHOTO | The greenhouse at Trimble’s of Corchaug Nursery was one of a handful to fall on the North Fork during the blizzard.

As the flakes flew during the February 8 blizzard, many North Forkers stared out their windows to watch more than a foot of snow fill their driveways.

Anne Trimble and Nancy Leskody had a different perspective from the second floor of their home next to the nursery they own on Main Road in Cutchogue. All they could see was a blanket of snow growing thicker atop their 40-year-old greenhouse.

“It just kept snowing and snowing and snowing,” Ms. Leskody said. “It got very heavy. Then it buckled and came crashing down.”

COURTESY PHOTO | Trimble’s owners Anne Trimble (left) and Nancy Leskody with employee Gerry Leskody inside the collapsed greenhouse.

The greenhouse at Trimble’s of Corchaug Nursery was one of a handful to fall on the North Fork during the blizzard — and among more than 250 in the Northeast to collapse, according to reports.

The weight of the snow was just too much for the older, gutter-connected aluminum-framed greenhouse to handle.

“Because of the way it collapsed, it was still partially standing,” Ms. Trimble said.

While no plants were damaged, Trimble’s did lose benches, pots and shelving. The storm also destroyed their PA system.

Ms. Leskody said the toughest part of the ordeal was losing a space that she viewed as both an office and a sanctuary.

“That was my work space,” she said. “I was definitely emotionally connected to it. It was bittersweet.”

Bitter because the structure was the only one remaining from when Ms. Trimble and Ms. Leskody bought the business in 1991. Sweet because it will be replaced with a new, more energy-efficient greenhouse.

That structure will be 3,000 square feet, less than half the size of the original, but will feature a stronger steel frame with a clear front panel enabling passersby to see the inventory from the roadway.

The new greenhouse will serve more as a retail showroom than as a growing space. Most of the stock will continue to be grown in smaller “cold houses” at the nursery.

Ms. Trimble said she expects the entire process of taking down the old greenhouse and building the new one to take between six and eight weeks. It’s expected to be ready soon after Trimble’s reopens for the season March 25.

That’s good news for customers who feared the nursery might close when they saw the old structure collapse.

“When people are calling, saying, ‘Please stay in business,’ that really affects you,” Ms. Leskody said. “We don’t plan on closing for a long time.”

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02/11/13 2:29am
02/11/2013 2:29 AM
FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

Updates on school closings, delayed openings and school event cancellations. Be sure to click the links below for any cancellations made between updates:

As of 2:30 a.m. Monday:

Mattituck-Cutchogue, Greenport, Southold and Oysterponds school districts will have a two-hour delayed opening Monday morning. The Greenport School District has also rescheduled its musical performances of Guys and Dolls to March 1 and March 2, both starting at 7 p.m. Officials said prepaid tickets will be honored at either performance.

• The New Suffolk School District will have a delayed opening staring at 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

Our Lady of Mercy  school officials said the Cutchogue school will have a delayed opening at 11 a.m. Monday.

Check back for more updates.

02/09/13 5:00pm
02/09/2013 5:00 PM

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | A firewood stand in front of a home in Jamesport as the snow begins to accumulate Friday afternoon.

As a blizzard begins to dump a predicted 12 to 20 inches of snow across the East End Friday into Saturday, we’ll be posting photos to our website. You can do the same. Just click the upload bar above to start adding your photos from the winter weekend.

02/09/13 11:11am

COURTESY PHOTO | The Cutchogue Fire Department rescued a family from a basement fire Friday night during the blizzard.

A Cutchogue family had to be rescued from its basement Friday night after a transformer wire broke, sparking a fire, Cutchogue Fire Chief Dave Fohrkolb said.

At about 10:30 last night, Cutchogue Fire Department received word of smoke in a residence on Tuthill Road, Mr. Fohrkolb said.

The family — two adults, two small children and their dog — were safely rescued from the home, as volunteer firefighters made their way to the basement, Mr. Fohrkolb said.

“We stretched a hand line into the basement,” he said. “We were able to extinguish the fire within 5-10 minutes.

“It was textbook, we had the crew available,” Mr. Fohrkolb added. “We keep an engine and an ambulance crew standing by in case something like this happens, and for good reason, because we know snow is going to delay us.”

About 36 volunteers made it to the scene. Their work wasn’t done yet, when the realized other homes could be at risk as well, the chief said.

A primary wire from a transformer pole had broken, and it “energized” a Cablevision wire going into the home, Mr. Fohrkolb said. The Cablevision wire was also going into other people’s homes, he said.

“Because of the transformer, we had to go to every house, door to door, to have them shut their electric off,” Mr. Fohrkolb said. “It can definitely cause a fire without a doubt.”

The broken wire affected 10 homes in all, he said.

“It doesn’t happen often. It’s one of those things when you have a storm that you have to worry about. If a wire comes down the wrong way it can energize other wires going into homes.”

The whole operation took about two hours, he said.

Within a half hour Long Island Power Authority was on scene to repair the wire, Mr. Fohrkolb said.

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COURTESY PHOTO  |  Cutchogue firefighters faced brutal conditions last night during a rescue.

COURTESY PHOTO | Cutchogue firefighters faced brutal conditions last night during a rescue.

02/09/13 10:07am
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO  |  Cars piled with snow in Cutchogue Saturday morning.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Cars piled with snow in Cutchogue Saturday morning.

The worst may be behind us, but now comes the hard part: cleaning up.

A nor’easter that dumped as much as two feet of snow in some areas is expected to clear the area by late morning, with a few snow showers lingering through 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A northwest wind is expected to be sustained around 24-28 mph. Gusts can be as high as 39 mph.

Roads remained mostly impassable throughout the East End Saturday morning.

The highest snow total so far reported by the National Weather Service was 30.9 inches in Upton.

Reports this morning in Southold were around 15-18 inches of snow.

There were more than 1,200 customers without power in Southold as of 10 a.m. There were more than 900 without power in Orient. At its peak there were 1,600 in Orient. The timetable for when power would be restored is uncertain.

02/09/13 9:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Highway Superintendent Gio Woodson uses heavy equipment to clear Marcy Avenue at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.

A powerful nor’easter dumped more than a foot of snow on the North Fork Friday night into Saturday. As the storm passed and highway crews tried to clear the roads, the Times/Review Newsgroup editorial team and readers provided live news updates and photos.

As of early Saturday morning, most North Fork roads remained impassable, but things began to clear as the day went on. But blowing snow and icing roadways led officials to tell drivers to remain off roadways Saturday night into Sunday.

Click below to see what happened, as it happened.

Click the play button below to get started.

02/08/13 1:00pm
02/08/2013 1:00 PM
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | A snow plow clears Route 25 in Cutchogue in January 2011.

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | A snow plow clears Route 25 in Cutchogue in January 2011.

A “significant” winter storm is expected to dump between 12 and 20 inches of snow across Long Island, with the most snow expected on the North Fork and East End Friday into Saturday, according to forecasts by the National Weather Service, which issued a blizzard warning starting Friday.

Even higher amounts can accumulate on eastern Long Island due to isolated snow bands, weather officials said.

A mix of rain and occasional flurries had already begun to fall Friday morning, with about 2 to 4 inches of snow expected to accumulate during the daytime hours, according to NWS forecasts.

[Check back starting this afternoon for live coverage of the storm as it approaches the region].

But things are going to start picking up into the evening and worsen as the night goes on, when the blizzard will hit with heavy bands of snow and sustained winds between 30 and 40 mph — with gusts topping 60 mph — that will make travel dangerous and may cause power outages, officials said.

“This is a classic nor’easter,” said meteorologist David Stark, with the weather service station in Upton. “All the ingredients that come together for nor’easter are there.”

NORTH FORK SCHOOL CLOSINGS, POSTPONEMENTS

The storm could cause electrical outages for over 100,000 customers on Long Island, according to a statement by National Grid.

EVENTS CANCELED DUE TO STORM

Meanwhile, locals were flocking to area supermarkets and gas stations to stock up on fuel and supplies Friday morning.

” I think people are overreacting about the gas situation,” said Jim McGreevy, as he waited behind a few cars lined up at the Hess station on Main Road in Mattituck. “We’re just putting some gas in the truck. We have gas at home for the generator, snowblower.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as Sandy was.

“I think it’s ridiculous that people are panicking,” added his wife, Jennifer McGreevy. “It’s probably because of the snowblowers and stuff, but even the grocery store was nuts yesterday. It was like a madhouse. It was worse than before Thanksgiving.”

Officials are warning residents to stay indoors as the full force of the storm hits.

“The winds are going to be howling Friday night,” Mr. Stark said. “I wouldn’t recommend being on the road.”

The snow will continue through the night into Saturday morning, officials said.

The east-northeastern winds may also cause beach erosion on the North Fork because of Friday night’s high tide, he added.

Weather officials have issued a flood warning for coastal areas as well.

Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco issued a statement Friday cautioning residents to have a plan in place to stay warm and safe. If you lose heat in your home, he said, close off any unneeded rooms and plan to stay in one area.

“To retain heat as long as possible, place blankets or towels under doors and cover up all windows where heat could easily escape,” he said.

The sheriff also recommended leaving faucets slightly turned on if there is a danger of water pipes freezing.

By Saturday afternoon, the storm will have moved out of the area and the high winds will die down over the weekend as temperatures rise above freezing, Mr. Stark said.

Residents are advised to avoid traveling during the storm due to the predicted hazardous conditions.

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With Gianna Volpe, Michael White and Joe Werkmeister

02/08/13 12:02pm

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Orlowski Hardware on Love Lane in Mattituck Friday afternoon.

After Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the North Fork just over three months ago, area residents are not taking chances with the approaching winter storm, dubbed “Nemo” by The Weather Channel.

Workers at area hardware stores said business has been up as the slush began filling streets Friday afternoon.

Both Jamesport and Griffing Hardware in Riverhead Town reported increases in business, as did Orlowski Hardware on Mattituck’s Love Lane.

“Things have been pretty busy and business has definitely picked up a lot,” said owner Rich Orlowski. “People are buying ice melt, snow shovels, batteries, flashlights, all the basics. They are definitely getting ready.”

Sean Harlow of Talmage Farm Agway & Garden Center said the bulk of their business rush occurred yesterday, though he expects another rush could occur after the storm, depending on the actual amount of snow that falls.

He said snowblower sales could increase as snowfall totals are expected to exceed a foot in some areas.

“If we get as much snow as they’re saying we’re going to get, I’m sure we’ll sell snowblowers,” Mr. Harlow said. “I’m hoping we get a lot because I personally like the snow.”

The store has been busy selling shovels and ice melt, he said. Yesterday a customer bought one of the store’s 5,500-watt generators.

“We didn’t really start carrying them until the hurricane and people have been purchasing them since then,” he said. “But we had a few people inquiring about them today,” he said.

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