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Time to dig out: Storm dropped 8 to 11 inches of snow across the region

Mark Stark digging out this morning on Pondview Drive.Photo: Peter Blasl

The local area saw between 8 and 10 inches of snowfall from yesterday’s storm, according to National Weather Service reports.

A National Weather Service employee reported 10 inches in Riverhead, with reports of 9 inches in Orient and 10.6 inches at the National Weather Service office in Upton.

The snow, which began in earnest on the North Fork around 10 a.m. ended around 11 p.m. last night, said trained weather spotter Len Llewellyn of Mattituck. He measured 8 inches in Mattituck, he said.

Temperatures during the storm hovered in the low 20s, according to Llewellyn. The high was 23 and the low was 18.

Snowfall at Islip airport was 9.7 inches, a record for Jan. 8.

Roads have been plowed and all roads are opened, Riverhead Highway Superintendent Gio Woodson said this morning in a phone interview as he drove around town checking road conditions.

Highway crews were out plowing until about 2 a.m., he said. This morning, crews will return to work to push back snow on some roads as needed, clean up some intersections and “salt the heck out of everything.”

Woodson said so many vehicles were out driving during the storm yesterday that snow was packed down on road surfaces, making plowing less effective.

“When it gets packed down hard, you can’t push it off,” Woodson said. He lamented that so many people did not heed officials’ request to stay off the roads during the storm. “There was a lot of traffic on the roads yesterday.”

The highway superintendent urged motorists to use extra caution as they venture out today.

“People need to drive for the conditions of the roads,” Woodson said. “Slow down. If you’re going 30 or 35, you’ll be OK. You drive faster than that, you’re going to slip and slide and get into trouble,” he said. Woodson especially urged drivers of four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles to slow down. “Just because you have four-wheel-drive, you’re not invincible,” he said.

Cold weather will remain with us through tomorrow night. Temperatures today will not rise out of the mid-20s, according to the National Weather Service forecast. There is a 20 percent chance of snow showers this afternoon. Lows tonight will dip to about 12. With northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph, wind chill values will be as low as 3-below, according to the weather service forecast.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid 20s. Wind chill values will be as low as 4-below in the morning. Lows tomorrow night will reach about 19, with southwest winds of 10 to 15 mph.

Temperatures will climb to about 40 on Tuesday, when there will be an 80-percent chance of rain. Temperatures will remain well above freezing for the rest of the week, reaching 50 degrees on Friday, according to the forecast.

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. Email Denise.