Update 1:20 p.m.: Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder has declared a snow emergency due to the blizzard. Parking on village streets is prohibited during a snow emergency.
Update 12:20 p.m.:
Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor advised people to “enjoy the warmth of their homes and give us a chance to clear the roads” at about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday as the full brunt of the blizzard hit Southampton Town.
“It’s honking pretty good right now,” Mr. Gregor said of winds that were contributing to white-out conditions across the East End. The highway superintendent said he did not like to predict the weather but added he had just looked at a Doppler weather map and said with any luck the storm might blow through by 3 p.m., about two hours earlier than anticipated.
At 11:30 a.m., Mr. Gregor said the there was only about 3 inches of accumulation and said that 58 town Highway Department trucks and payloaders supplemented by another 30 contractors were trying to keep up with the snowfall.
“I wouldn’t want to be driving, I’d rather be at home,” he said, urging people to leave their cars in their driveways until the storm ends and the plows get a chance to do their work.
With temperatures are expected to continue to fall, Mr. Gregor urged people to play it safe and and stay indoors.
”Remember, every day we are another day closer to spring,” he said.
East Hampton Town Highway Superintendent Steve Lynch said the snow was accumulating at a rate of 1.5-to-2-inches per hour. “The sleet came down first, so it is very slippery,” he said, urging people to play it safe.
“Stay home,” he said. “Everything’s closed; what few stores that are open are closing soon. You’re better off staying home and letting the guys do their job.”
Mr. Lynch said East Hampton had at least 40 plows out on the roads, trying to keep up with the rapid accumulation of snow.
He said he has been told the storm was expected to end about 6 p.m. but, like Mr. Gregor, he was keeping his fingers crossed. “It looks like the storm is moving pretty quickly,” he said. “The back of the storm is in Jersey.”
Update: 11:07 a.m.:
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has declared a State of Emergency in Suffolk County effective at 11 a.m. due to emergency conditions created by the storm.
Update 9 a.m.:
While residents may have woken up to a morning dominated by sleet and rain, rather than abundant snow, according to the National Weather Service a blizzard will hit the East End later this morning, dumping as much as 18 inches of snow before the storm tapers off around 5 p.m.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell reported this morning that he has declared a snow emergency.
“With snowfalls forecast up to 3-inches per hour later this morning and afternoon and a foot or more accumulations in blizzard conditions the Town of East Hampton has declared a snow emergency,” he posted on his Facebook page. “Parking on public roads is suspended, town offices and recycling centers are closed. Best to stay home today and let our crews do their work without vehicle traffic. Please be safe.”
Area schools, organizations, municipalities and businesses have announced closures on Thursday in anticipation of the heavy snowstorm.
The Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton school districts have announced they will be closed.
Thursday was to have been opening night of “The Little Mermaid,” the musical produced by the Pierson Middle School theater department. Tickets to Thursday’s show will be honored at a newly added show, a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Ticketholders can also receive refunds from Thursday’s show on Friday in the main office at Pierson until 2 p.m.
The Sag Harbor Elementary School science fair has been rescheduled to March 1 at 7 p.m., and the rescheduling of athletics events will be announced on the athletics website. The school district also canceled a special board of education meeting that had been planned for Thursday night.
The Hampton Jitney has suspended its service for the morning and early afternoon, according to its website. “Late afternoon and evening trips may be disrupted or canceled based on weather conditions and potential road closings,” the Jitney’s website reads. “Please note that our website always displays the most current trip availability. Please plan accordingly. Full service will resume with Friday’s normal schedule.”
Sag Harbor’s Variety Store also announced it would shutter its doors Thursday.
East Hampton and Southampton towns have announced their offices will be closed on Thursday. Southampton’s 10 a.m. work session has been canceled, and East Hampton’s 6 p.m. architectural review board meeting has been canceled. Sag Harbor Village has canceled its meeting of the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review.