East Hampton Village Hall and East Hampton Town Hall are both closed, and East Hampton Village has declared a state of emergency.
According to East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo, the department has responded to eight car accidents, most of which occurred in the early afternoon on Tuesday. Fortunately, there were no major incidents or injuries, he said.
“The roads are improving,” he said. “Most of the main roadways are passable, but as always, we request that you do not go out and drive unless it is an absolute necessity so that snow plows can work safely and quickly.”
He said he expects a lot of traffic, however, because schools are closed and so a lot of children and their parents will be heading out to go sledding.
“We ask that everyone use caution and make sure vehicles are not parked impeding the pathways of the plows,” he said.
He added that the department is working on a call in Springs where an elderly man was found unconscious and not breathing in the snow near his home. He said the man was discovered at 7:35 this morning by a snow plow driver.
Snowfall totals throughout the East End varied overnight, with less snow accumulating in areas east of the Shinnecock Canal than other parts of the island.
The National Weather Service Spotter Reports, compiled by both professional and amateur weather spotters, report totals of 10 inches in Hampton Bays, Riverhead and Flanders, and 9.5 inches in Eastport. The hardest hit parts of Suffolk County were Selden and Babylon, each reporting 14.5 inches, the highest amounts in the state.
Further east, despite initial warnings from the weather service that snow would be falling heaviest there, Press reporters have estimated totals of 6 inches at most in the areas of Springs and Wainscott.
Eastern Long Islanders woke up to more than a foot of snow on the ground, with heavy drifting in certain areas, and frigid temperatures.
Officials warned of a difficult commute Wednesday morning due to the temperatures and blowing and drifting snows.
Light snow was expected to continue through noon, but a winter storm warning was extended to 9 a.m.
Temperatures remained in the teens, but wind chill made the air feel like negative temperatures.
Most school districts were closed on Wednesday, check individual school websites for more information.
Multiple East End school districts have already reported being closed for the day tomorrow due to the snow accumulation and road conditions, including the Southampton, East Hampton, Montauk, and Springs school districts. Check individual district websites for more information.
According to East Hampton Town Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Bruce Bates, significant snowfall is expected to impact East Hampton until early Wednesday morning. He said highway department workers would be busy at work Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning and ready to assist the fire departments and EMS agencies should the need arise.
“Our emergency preparedness personnel are monitoring this storm and will have warming centers, or shelters available if power failures occur,” he said.
Residents are urged to avoid any unnecessary travel and not park their cars on roadways. The East Hampton and Montauk Senior Centers will be closed on Wednesday.
All emergencies should be reported to 911; non-emergency questions should be directed to 537-7575.
Although multiple accidents have been witnessed and reported by Southampton Press staff, a dispatcher for The Southampton Town Police said there have been very few accidents overall and “there haven’t been any in a while.”
Despite the lack of reported accidents, town police are urging people to stay off the roads if at all possible to allow for emergency personnel and road cleanup crews.
A duty sergeant wasn’t immediately available for comment.
A meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Joey Picca, said that the snowfall will be heaviest from now until about midnight tonight, diminishing in intensity into the morning.
Mr. Picca warned that although the snow should taper off, the winds will still be in the 20-25 mile-per-hour range tomorrow morning, making for dangerous driving conditions.
“There will still be a lot of blowing and drifting of snow tomorrow morning,” he said. “It’ll be hazardous driving conditions. The snow is light and powdery, which we expected, and it is really easy to shovel, but it is all the more dangerous on the roads because it will be so hard to see.”
Mr. Picca predicted the East End has about 3-5 inches of snow at the present time, and stuck with the original estimate of about 8-14 inches total.
“We have near-blizzard conditions, but not quite a blizzard because the winds aren’t strong enough,” Mr. Picca added.
Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst will declare a snow emergency in the town within the hour. With more than 10 inches of snow forecast to fall on the East End overnight on Tuesday, the emergency declaration will clear town highway crews to clear private roads to make way for emergency vehicles.
The East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled because of the snow.
Additionally, the East Hampton School District has canceled afternoon BOCES classes, its board of education meeting, its SAT prep class and all after-school activities.
East Hampton High School and Middle School, the Springs School, the Montauk School, and Amagansett School all had early dismissal this afternoon and have also canceled all after school programs.
All Southampton Town facilities were scheduled to close at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and remain closed until noon on Wednesday.
The Landmarks and Historic Districts Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening was rescheduled to January 29. The Southampton Town Trustees meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday was rescheduled to Monday, January 27, at 1 p.m.
Sag Harbor Village has also canceled a much anticipated Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, with the decision for the Harbor Heights service station now slated for February 18.
Check the Southampton Town website for more updates as the storm progresses.
Many area schools were set to dismiss classes early on Tuesday and close on Wednesday. Check with individual schools for closings.
Forecasters are now calling for between 10 and 14 inches of snow on Eastern Long Island on Tuesday. Snowfall will begin late Tuesday morning and will continue through Tuesday night, tapering off early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snowfall will occur Tuesday afternoon and evening.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for all of Long Island, warning of an anticipated snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
The winter storm watch, which warns of higher snow totals on the East End than the rest of the island, will remain in effect until late Tuesday night. The snow is expected to start late Tuesday morning and remain heavy throughout the day.
The weather service predicts temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and in the single digits overnight, with winds between 15 and 25 mph and gusts reaching 30 mph.