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Tropical Storm Isaias topples trees, downs power lines

Update: 7 p.m.

The PSEG Long Island center crashed at the beginning of the storm, so power outages in Southold and Riverhead towns have been not been updated onto the PSEG outage map, according to Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley.

“We were really hit hard, tons of trees down and wires down,” the chief wrote in an email.

PSEG said in a statement that: “We are actively assessing the damage and restoring outages as safely and quickly as possible. However, we are experiencing communications issues and are working with Verizon and other partners to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”

“More than 2,000 line workers, tree trimmers, surveyors and other utility personnel are onsite to address outages,” PSEG said.

According to the National Weather Service, a 64 mph wind gust was recorded in Orient.

Update: 5:30 p.m.

PSEG Long Island described Tropical Storm Isaias as “one of the strongest to reach the service area in years, causing widespread, severe damage.”

The storm left tree limbs and power lines down all throughout the North Fork

The more severe damage appeared farther west into Nassau County compared to the East End.

“Strong winds and hazardous gusts downed trees, branches and wires, currently affecting more than 368,000 of our 1.1 million customers,” according to PSEG.

Update: 3 p.m.

Downed wires and tree limbs are being reported throughout Southold Town, resulting in some roadway lanes being blocked.

Southold Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said gusts have topped out at 29 mph shortly before 3 p.m.

A large tree branch fell onto wires just west of Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm in Cutchogue. A downed wire on South Harbor Road in Southold resulted in a small fire.

The PSEG Long Island outage map was showing minimal outages so far as of 3 p.m.

A tree limb fell onto a car on Main Road in Mattituck, just west of Wickham Avenue. Westbound traffic was being redirected at Wickham and Cox. (Credit: Grant Parpan)
A large tree uprooted on Main Road in Cutchogue. (Credit: Steve Wick)
A tree blocking Cox Lane. (Credit: Grant Parpan)
A downed power line on South Harbor Road in Southold. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Update: Noon

Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley said in an email that the town’s emergency response team is monitoring the storm and is preparing to open emergency shelters should the need arise.

“There is a possibility of widespread downed trees and tree limbs and scattered power outages as this storm makes its way through our area early this afternoon over a 3-6 hour timeframe,” the chief wrote in a press release.

Update: 11 a.m.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone gives a storm update.

Suffolk County Executive Bellone provides storm update before Tropical Storm Isaias

Posted by Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Update: 9:15 a.m.

The Town of Riverhead is urging residents to complete last minute preparations for the Tropical Storm Isaias, which has moved inland but is still expected to bring heavy wind and rain to the region this afternoon.

All town beaches have been closed as a tropical storm warning, coastal flood advisory and tornado watch have all been issued.

There is expected to be some rainfall, with estimates varying anywhere from a quarter inch to two inches across Long Island.

While the path of the quick-moving storm is now west of Long Island, tropical storm force winds could be felt before noon, earlier than originally anticipated.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is expected to give a storm update at 11 a.m.

ORIGINAL STORY

The North Fork of Long Island should begin to feel the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias later Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service, which upgraded the regional advisory from a storm watch to a warning Monday.

Strong winds, picking up by 2 p.m. and continuing into the overnight hours, are expected to reach up to 30 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. Long Island will be most impacted by the wind, the NWS said.

The storm, which reached Florida Sunday, reached Georgia bound for the Carolinas moving at 70 MPH Monday, according to the NWS.

While rain is expected to cause flooding conditions across parts of the northeast, the NWS said New England, New Jersey and the Hudson Valley would likely be hit the hardest from rain, with as much as six inches falling in those areas. Locally, we’re likely to see less than two inches of rainfall along with the possibility of thunderstorms.

“We are very familiar with dealing with storms of this nature,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at a press conference in Great River Monday. “And no storm is the same.”

Mr. Bellone said what makes the upcoming storm particularly unique is that it is expected to strike during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The county executive said the projected wind and rain calculations will make the storm “a serious event.”

The National Weather Service is also warning of hazardous conditions in local waters and a storm surge is possible Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning.

The conditions are expected to improve by Wednesday afternoon and warm temperatures and sunny skies are in the forecast for the remainder of the week.