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Riverhead Outages Relatively Low, at About 200 Townwide

Outages begin as Nation Grid predicts 100,000 customers could lose power from the blizzard.

As Mother Nature knocks out power to a lot of residents in Southold and Shelter Island, she seems to have skipped over Riverhead Town - at least for now – according to the Long Island Power Authority.

As of 11 p.m., a combined 3,000 outages were reported on the North Fork and Shelter Island, the most in one hamlet coming from over 1,500 in Orient.

Riverhead, meanwhile, has about reported 200 outages. About two third of the outages – 138, to be exact – come from the oft-powerless Sound Shore Road in Northville. Another 60 are reported in Wading River, with a few more outage reports throughout town of five customers or less.

The relatively low number of outages doesn't necessarily mean the roads are clear by any means, however. Supervisor Sean Walter declared a state of emergency Friday evening, asking all residents to steer clear of roadways so town snow plows can keep up with the snow.

The weather turned to a brief period of rain around 9 p.m., though by 10:30, snow had arrived once again.

Systemwide, over 12,500 outages are reported across Long Island.

According to the Long Island Power Authority's storm map, nearly all of the outages are located east of Hallock Landing Road in Rocky Point, just north of Magnolia Drive. Estimated restoration time is 7:30 p.m., the site notes.

Less than a handful of homes in Sound Beach are also reported to be without power.

Keep track of all local news and information related to the blizzard on this page.

National Grid President John Bruckner said Friday they expect about 100,000 power outages across Long Island from the storm, though outages are not expected to last more than 24 hours, he said.

LIPA put National Grid in charge of the storm response on Thursday – the first time it relinquished control in its history – after all-time lows in public faith in the utility due to its response the Hurricane Sandy in November.

Bruckner said the company has 700 high-voltage lineman and 250 tree-trimmers ready to act after the storm. In addition National Grid is upping the number of call-center personnel to provide better communication during and after the storm, Bruckner said.

National Grid has fully restocked its supplies of power lines, transformers and wires so that workers do not have to wait for shipments to come in, like they did during Superstorm Sandy.

“The resources we needed, we didn’t see until many days after Sandy. For this storm, they are on Long Island,” he said.

Bruckner also said that the company is monitoring the potential storm surge on Long Island’s North Shore, and has already sandbagged its equipment in case of flooding.

“We feel we’re in pretty good shape going into this storm,” Bruckner said.

The biggest concern for National Grid during the storm is not snow, but wind. Forecasters predict the New England nor'easter wind will range from 30 to 40 miles per hour with howling gusts hitting 60 miles per hour.

“This is not a typical storm. Usually, a storm comes in and out in an hour or two. This storm will last a couple days,” he said.

Bruckner said that National Grid will have 1,000 personnel on the ground early Saturday to assess the damage. Critical care customers including hospitals, nursing homes and sewage treatment plants will be attended to first. After that, areas with the most outages will be the focus, and lastly, the parts of the island with the least amount of outages.

Bruckner also said that National Grid has supplied generators to fuel terminals, so that gas shortages that happened during Superstorm Sandy do not repeat.

Amanda Lindner contributed to this report.

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