A fatality related to Saturday’s storm has been reported in Cutchogue. Town police said an elderly man shoveling snow fell into a swimming pool and died. The incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. Here’s what we know so far.
• The National Weather Service has also updated its snowfall totals. They reported 18 inches in Orient by noon.
• A handful of customers have lost power in Orient Point, according to PSEG Long Island. All other Southold Town outages, including at least three separate events in Cutchogue, have been restored.
As heavy snow continues to fall across the North Fork, here are some scenes from the streets, which are largely empty as residents adhere to the advice from officials to remain home.
Saturday’s storm has officially been declared a blizzard in Suffolk County, the National Weather Service reported.
A storm meets the criteria when winds reach 35 miles per hour or more with less than a quarter-mile visibility for over three hours, the NWS said.
Despite the conditions, plowing efforts are ongoing in Southold Town.
Highway Superintendent Dan Goodwin said plowing began in town at 2:30 a.m. when there was already three to four inches of snow on the roadways.
“Plowing has been a challenge due to periods of zero visibility, as well as two to three inches per hour snowfall rates,” he said. “Our strategy has been and will continue to be to continually clear all the major thoroughfares, while clearing the side streets on a rotating basis.”
Once the storm winds down, he said they’ll adjust that strategy to perform more of an “edge to edge removal.”
“We are not yet at that stage of the storm and I please ask everyone to remain off the roads both with vehicles and on foot,” he said. “Limited sight distance is and will continue to be a problem until well into tomorrow.”
A blizzard warning will remain in effect through 7 p.m. with heavy blowing snow across the North Fork, according to the latest information from the National Weather Service.
An additional eight inches of snow is expected to fall by late afternoon, with totals reaching 24 inches. The most recent North Fork snow total released by the National Weather Service was reported by a member of the public, who measured the accumulation at 14 inches at 9 a.m.
Wind is steady at 35 mph, with gusts up to 55 mph. Wind chill with the gusts drops below zero.
The PSEG Outage Map shows a band of current outages on Oregon Road in Cutchogue, from Depot Lane east to Bridge Lane impacting 43 customers.
As the snow continues to fall across the North Fork, wind gusts over 50 miles per hour have been reported in both towns.
In Baiting Hollow, a gust of 55 mph was recorded at 9:10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. About an hour earlier, a 51 mph gust was tracked in Southold hamlet.
Despite the nor’easter, officials have said there’s very little to report in terms of damage. Southold Town Highway Superintendent Dan Goodwin said visibility on the roadways are a challenge. Police chief Martin Flatley added that a power outage in Cutchogue was the only one so far. PSEG Long Island, meanwhile, reported that outage was quickly restored.
Riverhead Town has not yet dealt with power outages today.
The latest radar reports show the snow should continue to fall through the afternoon, as expected.
The National Weather Service released its first official snowfall totals from the nor’easter. A trained spotter in Orient reported 12 inches had already fallen as of 8 a.m. NWS staff reported nine inches near Brookhaven Lab in Upton.
PSEG Long Island is still reporting that there has been no outages on the North Fork.
The National Weather Service has once again increased its snowfall projections for Saturday’s nor’easter, saying as much as 18-24 inches is likely for the North Fork.
The service, in its 5 a.m. announcement, said the update was based on radar trends and overnight snowfall reports of 5-7 inches across Long Island.
Snowfall rates will continue to increase through daybreak across the region,” the NWS reported in its 5 a.m. special weather statement. “Rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour are possible with locally up to three inches per hour. Strong winds will create blowing and drifting of snow.”
Those conditions could continue into the afternoon, the NWS said.
A blizzard warning remains into effect until 7 p.m. Saturday with a coastal flood advisory issued through midnight. The NWS’s blizzard warning reiterated that more than a foot of snow could fall on top of what accumulated overnight. Wind gusts could still reach as high as 60 mph.
“Travel will be very difficult to impossible,” the warning reads. “Strong winds could cause tree damage.”
PSEG Long Island on Saturday morning was reporting only scattered outages across Long Island, with none on the North Fork. In Montauk, there were 95 customers without power as of 7 a.m., according to the utility’s outage map.
Check back for updates as the storm develops and new information becomes available throughout the day Saturday.