South Fork Under State of Emergency as Blizzard Arrives

Last customers carefully traversed the snow outside the Amagansett I.G.A. before it closed at 9:45 a.m. Carissa Katz

The Towns of East Hampton and Southampton are under a state of emergency due to blizzard conditions Saturday. 

The South Fork is forecasted to get 12 to 18 inches of snow, with winds gusting 30 to 55 miles per hour. Whiteout conditions and hazardous driving are to be expected. By midmorning downed trees and power lines were already being reported, and volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel were being called in to stand by at their headquarters. 

Residents are being encouraged to stay off the roads. Vehicles parked in the roadway should be moved so that snowplows can clear the snow. Road closures from flooding in low-lying areas are expected later on Saturday. Heavy winds and a lunar tide expected to be 3 to 4 feet above normal will result in moderate flooding. 

“Our Highway Department is busy plowing roads but residents should stay inside and off the roads and allow our plows to do their jobs and let emergency vehicles pass safely when they are called to emergencies," Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said Saturday. 

Emergency operations centers in both towns have been opened to field emergency calls related to the storm. The Town of East Hampton's center, which opened at 9 a.m. and will be kept open throughout the storm, can be reached at 631-324-0288. For immediate emergencies call 911.  

Southampton Town's center can be reached at 631-728-3405.

Power outages should be reported directly to PSEG-Long Island at 888-730-3774, town officials said. In the event of a power outage, warming centers will be opened in the Town of East Hampton at the Senior Citizens Center on Sprongs-Fireplace Road and the Montauk Playhouse Community Center. No word yet where the warming centers would be in Southampton. 

Check back for more information as it becomes available. For a list of cancellations and closures, click here.

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Montauk Highway in Amagansett Saturday morningDavid E. Rattray