A blizzard dumped two feet of snow Saturday on parts of Long Island — the Speonk-Remsenburg area saw the highest on the East End with 19 inches — as the powerful nor’easter walloped the Northeast.
National Weather Service had issued a statement confirming that the a preliminary review found the storm met the criteria to be termed a blizzard — blowing snow with 35 mph winds and 1/4-mile visibility for three hours — before a blizzard warning the agency issued for Suffolk County expired Saturday night. The agency recorded 24 inches of snow at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, which was the highest for LI as the storm ended at 7 p.m. The East End had the highest reported wind gust during the storm, with 68 mph in Napeague.
“It’s high winds, heavy snow, blizzard conditions — all the elements of a classic Nor’easter,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news briefing, warning of frigid temperatures overnight and the risk of power outages, which could prompt some residents to use their stoves or space heaters to stay warm. “This could be life-threatening.”
An elderly man died when he fell into his pool while shoveling snow in Cutchogue, Southold Town Police said. The weather may have contributed to the death of an elderly woman who was found early on Saturday morning in a hotel parking lot in Uniondale with her car window open, according to an officer at the Nassau County Police Department.
Upton-based NWS meteorologists had initially given the forecast of two feet of snow a 10% chance of happening before revising its prediction early Saturday morning. The storm prompted thousands of flight cancellations and leading governors in Rhode Island and other states to curtail access to the roads. Several states declared emergencies in response to the storm, which formed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolinas and was forecast to continue depositing snow into Sunday morning as it moved north to Maine.
Orient and Mattituck got 18 inches, East Hampton saw 16.1, Riverhead had 14.3 and Jamesport reported 10.8.
Long Island Rail Road service was suspended Saturday due to the storm. Parts of the LI region is remains under a coastal flood advisory.
“One to locally two feet of inundation above ground level expected in vulnerable north shore communities of the Twin Forks of LI, North Shore of LI, and north facing LI barrier island communities for today’s a.m. and possibly p.m. high tides near the waterfront and shoreline,” forecasters said in the advisory.
After the storm clears the area, the forecast calls for sunny skies Sunday and Monday with temperatures below freezing during the day and dropping into the teens overnight.