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Southold Town will open shelters Thursday, close other town facilities

Southold Town announced Wednesday afternoon that it will close most of its facilities Thursday and open emergency shelters due to the winter storm headed for the North Fork. 

Supervisor Scott Russell said in a press release Wednesday afternoon that all town facilities, including recreational programs and the transfer station, will be closed all day. The area is under a winter storm warning from 1 a.m. Thursday until midnight on Friday. Six to 10 inches of snow is expected to fall in Suffolk County with as much as 8 to 12 inches on the East End.

The Southold Office of Emergency Management will open the emergency shelters at the Peconic Lane Community Center at 1170 Peconic Lane in Peconic and the Human Resource Center at 750 Pacific Street in Mattituck for special needs individuals. The shelters will open at 9 a.m. and remain open as needed, the town said.

Southold Town Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said his crews would spend Wednesday preparing sand and salt mixes, which they will begin spreading on town roads as the snow begins. He said the plan for Thursday is to continuously plow throughout the town to keep ahead of the snowfall, with the goal of having all roads plowed, salted and sanded by Friday morning.

“We want our roads to be safe for people going to work on Friday,” he said.

The Southold Town Board of Trustees have canceled its reorganizational meeting on Thursday afternoon for Monday, Jan. 8 at 4:15 p.m. It will be held in the second-floor board room at the Town Hall Annex in Southold.

For Thursday, officials want residents to stay home. The supervisor said, “All use of roads should be restricted to essential travel needs only.” Vehicles should be removed from public roads and not parked in the public right-of-way, according to the town press release.

In Greenport, village officials announced on-street parking is prohibited beginning Wednesday night at 8. It will remain in effect until all roads are cleared. If motorists don’t have access to a private driveway, they can use any of the municipal parking lots. Vehicles in violation will be issued a $100 fine.

Power outages are possible due to accumulating snow and gusting winds up to 50 mph that are in the forecast for Thursday. PSEG-Long Island said in a statement Wednesday morning that it is closely tracking the storm and is arranging for additional staffing to respond to any damage the snow and high winds may cause.

“We prepare year-round for storms and stand ready to address any damage the first storm of 2018 may cause to the energy grid,” said John O’Connell, vice president of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “While we can’t control Mother Nature, we know that all of the ongoing improvements we’re making to the system are allowing us to better handle whatever weather comes our way.”

Photo caption: The Southold Town Highway Department is getting ready for Thursday’s storm, with workers loading up on sand at the highway barn. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

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