01/22/16 5:00am
01/22/2016 5:00 AM


This winter season’s first nor’easter could bring blizzard conditions — heavy snow, strong gusts of wind and limited visibility — on Saturday, according to the latest weather forecasts from the National Weather Service.

But as for the snow totals themselves? You can most likely breathe a sigh of relief. READ

07/08/15 6:00am
07/08/2015 6:00 AM
An oak tree on Mill Lane collapsed onto Bill Ruland's rye crop during last week's thunderstorm. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

An oak tree on Mill Lane collapsed onto Bill Ruland’s rye crop during last week’s thunderstorm. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

If you’ve driven down Mill Lane anytime in the past few decades, it would have been tough to miss the towering oak tree standing alone over the open rye field. Unfortunately, that’s not what you’ll find today.

The iconic large tree near Mill Lane Farm in Mattituck was almost ripped in half during a thunderstorm last week.

The tree — located on Mill Lane in Mattituck just south of Route 48 — fell due to high winds, said farm owner and Town Board member Bill Ruland.

“It’s been there my whole life,” Mr. Ruland said.

Before falling, the oak likely stood at least 30 feet tall and two to three feet wide. Now, the upper portion has been nearly snapped off and leans against the ground.

“It’s the tree that fell over,” said Greenport photographer Bob McInnis in an email. “It was a real treasure.”

The same storm that killed the tree knocked out power for thousands across the North Fork last week.

The inside of the oak tree was likely rotting, Mr. Ruland said, making it easier for the oak to be knocked down.

While the tree is not technically on his property, its top half fell on a small portion of his rye field. Mr. Ruland started cleaning up the tree’s remnants on Tuesday, but he said it’ll take three to four days to clear the tree away.

“This is just a mess,” he said. “The wind must have been howling.”

He plans to pick up all of the branches and splinters that fell by hand. The central trunk will stay for the time being, he said.

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11/26/13 7:18pm
11/26/2013 7:18 PM


A storm bringing fierce wind and rain is expected to touch down in the area on Tuesday into Wednesday, just in time for Thanksgiving weekend.

The rainfall and winds – which could top 50 miles per hour – will hit on the busiest travel day of the year, as a storm heads up the east coast bringing a mix of snow and sleet to the lower part of the country.

Due to warmer temperatures, Long Island is not expected to get snow Tuesday or Wednesday, with heavy rain predicted to develop after 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The NWS has issued a wind advisory will be in effect starting at midnight and lasting for a full 24 hours.

According to the advisory, southern winds will typically carry between 25 and 35 miles per hour, with the strongest winds expected from late tonight into Wednesday evening. A 100 percent chance of rain is expected through Wednesday, with temperatures later cooling and a 40 percent chance of rain/snow on Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a winter weather warning for motorists in advance of first major winter storm of the season, urging drivers to use caution while traveling during ice or snow conditions, and to arrange travel plans to avoid being on roadways during the storm.

“As New Yorkers are beginning to travel for the Thanksgiving Holiday, we are also preparing for the first major winter storm of the year which is expected to bring snow and ice to communities across the State,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “Recognizing that the harsh weather as well as the increased use of roadways has the potential to cause serious inconvenience for motorists, I have directed the State’s transportation agencies to take all necessary preparations to be ready to clear roadways as quickly as possible.”

In addition to the slowdowns on the roadways, some of the country’s busiest airports  in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Boston are also bracing for delays, according to the Associated Press.

The storm is blamed for killing at least 14 people in five states in the midwest and south, mostly related to traffic accidents, according to NWS.

The New York State Department of Transportation is raising awareness for winter driving safety, promoting the initiative: “If you see Ice and Snow, Take It Slow.”

NYSDOT tips for safe winter driving include:

  •  Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered;
  •  Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles;
  •  Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations;
  •  Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces;
  •  Be wary of black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing;

Motorists should also include the following emergency items in their vehicles:

  •  Flashlight with extra batteries
  •  Charged cell phone and automobile charger
  •  Basic first-aid kit
  •  Blankets or sleeping bags
  •  Extra clothes, including rain gear, boots, mittens, and socks

For real-time traffic and road condition updates, Thruway travelers are encouraged to visit www.Thruway.ny.gov, sign up for TRANSAlert emails at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml, or follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter. Also for more information and to sign up for free alerts about hazardous travel conditions in your area, go to www.nyalert.gov For weather forecasts, visit National Weather Service – Albany at http://weather.gov/aly .

NYSDOT provides a travel advisory system that features real-time travel reports and can be accessed by phone at 511 or online at www.511ny.org. The Web site features a color-coded map indicating which state roads are snow covered, ice covered, wet, dry, or closed to help travelers determine if travel is advisable. The system provides real-time snow and ice conditions for interstates and other heavily traveled roads, as reported by snowplow operators.