Home News Local News Nor’easter batters local shores, leaves behind frozen slush and black ice as...

Nor’easter batters local shores, leaves behind frozen slush and black ice as temperatures drop in storm’s wake

The surf smashes into the north shore in Southold yesterday. Photo: Peter Blasl

The nor’easter that hammered our region yesterday with high winds, snow, sleet and heavy rain left behind a slushy mess on the East End that will make driving conditions hazardous throughout the day today.

Local schools are operating on a two-hour delay this morning to allow highway crews and the school districts’ own facilities management crews the opportunity to sand and salt frozen surfaces.

Temperatures today will peak in the upper 20s, according to the National Weather Service, so black ice and frozen slush will remain on untreated surfaces throughout the day today. Motorists and pedestrians are urged extra caution today, the weather service said in a statement.

Strong winds will continue out of the west at 15 to 25 mph, gusting up to 40 mph. Forecasters say there’s a chance of scattered snow showers this afternoon.

These gusts could bring down branches and isolated power lines, the weather service said.

Yesterday’s storm tracked farther west and moved more rapidly than was forecast, resulting in snow accumulations of only a few inches across Suffolk County before changing to heavy sleet and rain on the East End mid-day. Most of New York City saw several inches of snow. Close to a foot of snow fell in the Bronx and Westchester County, while Orange, Rockland and Putnam counties had 14 to 20 inches of accumulations, according to National Weather Service reports.

High winds yesterday — 30 to 50 mph gusts from the east-northeast all morning — battered the Long Island Sound shoreline across the North Fork. The winds felled some large branches and took down at least two trees.

Storm surge in Greenport yesterday. Photo: Peter Blasl

PSEG-Long Island said the storm knocked out power to 24,000 customers and by 9:30 last night all but 1,264 customers — most in Suffolk — had been restored. The utility said its crews would work through the night to get power back on. As of 5 a.m. today, just over 100 customers — all in western Suffolk and Nassau — were still without power, according to PSEG-LI’s online outage map.

Local officials will today begin to assess damages from the late-winter storm, especially coastal erosion.

The storm left one of the Riverhead Highway Department’s canvas-covered sand/salt storage facilities in tatters. The storage barns were erected in 2011 only to have their covers destroyed by SuperStorm Sandy the following year. 

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Denise Civiletti

Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.