Update: Local roads plowed, says Highway Supe

01/22/2014 9:30 AM |

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Residents on the North Fork woke up to a winter wonderland this morning.

UPDATE, Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.: The Southold Highway Department has plowed all town roads and backroads, according to the highway superintendent, who warned that roads may still be icy due to the cold temperatures.

“It’s so cold that the salt/sand combination just isn’t working,” said Vincent Orlando. Wind last night was the “worst enemy” of the highway workers, blowing snow back onto roads just after crews cleared them.

The department is going to make another pass on town roads and will re-salt and sand the streets around 3 p.m. The crews have been working for more than 24 hours since the storm first began Tuesday morning.

“The men were out there all that long plowing,” Mr. Orlando said. “They all did a great job. They were a well-oiled machine.”

UPDATE, Wednesday, 8 a.m.: A winter storm dumped as much as a foot of of snow overnight as residents woke up this morning to bitter cold temperatures as they begin to dig out. According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature today will be about 19 degrees. Wind chill values are as low as -12.

The highest recorded snow total locally was in Orient which saw 12.2 inches as of 7 a.m., according to the NWS. East of the Southold Town line, Jamesport was hit with 13 inches, according to the snowfall totals.

“The storm was actually pretty much exactly what we were expecting,” said meteorologist Lauren Nash. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 9 a.m. for the East End, she said.

Winds will gust as much as 38 miles per hour. Winds should decrease toward the afternoon.

There are no current power outages in town, according to PSEG Long Island.

Check back for an update on road conditions.

UPDATE, Tuesday, 8 p.m.: Six and a half inches have already fallen on the North Fork as of 6 p.m., according to snowfall readings in Cutchogue from the National Weather Service, with the heaviest snow still set to come during the overnight hours.

UPDATE, Tuesday, 5:45 p.m.: Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency late this afternoon as blizzard-like conditions begin to pound the area.

“This winter storm will bring a one-two punch of snow and extreme cold,” Gov. Cuomo said in a press release. “I urge all those in the affected regions to exercise caution, and avoid travel if possible.”

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.: Southold Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said crews finished salting the roadways around 3 p.m. as a snowstorm begins to dump anywhere from 10 to 14 inches of snow across the North Fork.

Plowing is expected to begin around 5 p.m. and last through noon tomorrow, Mr. Orlando said.

UPDATE, Tuesday, 11:15 a.m: Tuesday night’s winter storm could dump as much as two inches per hour on the North Fork overnight, weather experts said.

The storm is following the National Weather Service’s predictions so far, and snowfall totals are on track to reach between 10 and 14 inches for the Riverhead area by tomorrow morning, said meteorologist Tim Morrin

“The storm is developing as we speak,” Mr. Morrin said.

Light snowfall hit eastern Long Island this morning and will continue throughout the day, with three inches expected by 5 p.m.

“The snow is sticking on untreated roads and surfaces,” Mr. Morrin said. “Even a coating will make things very slippery and it will only get worse through the afternoon hours.”

Conditions will deteriorate overnight with the heaviest snow coming between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning starting at noon today and lasting until 6 a.m. Wednesday for Long Island, Westchester County, northern New Jersey and part of southern Connecticut.

The Village of Greenport issued a notice asking for residents to avoid parking cars in the street as the plowing begins later today.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service increased its snowfall forecast for Tuesday into Wednesday, upping the possible total to 10 to 14 inches.

Eight to 10 inches had been expected previously. Though meteorologist Ashley Sears said that precipitation that had previously been expected to hit offshore looks to be hitting eastern Suffolk County.

The winter storm warning begins at noon on Tuesday and is expected to last until 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

ORIGINAL: The North Fork could be in line for its second snowfall of 2014, as the National Weather Service is predicting anywhere from six to eight inches of snow Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning.

The NWS has issued a winter storm watch from Tuesday afternoon through late Tuesday night for Long Island, Westchester County, northern New Jersey and part of southern Connecticut.

Meteorologist Joe Pollina said on Monday morning that snowfall should get “steadier and heavier tomorrow afternoon,” ending sometime late Tuesday night for most of Long Island.

But snowfall could last into Wednesday for those on the East End.

“The twin forks could see lingering showers and flurries into early Wednesday morning,” he said.