Town ready for plunging temperatures

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Town officials said they’re ready for whatever Mother Nature decides to bring.

It might have been easy to be fooled by the balmy, almost spring-like temperatures yesterday. But most Islanders woke up greeted by temperatures of 16 degrees.

Throw in wind chills and it feels more like minus 8 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Frigid air began moving eastward last night. Temperatures will  crawl back up very slowly, turning to a still cold 27 degrees on Wednesday and slightly better 35 degrees on Thursday before creeping to the 40s on Friday.

Thanks to last week’s blizzard-like conditions, the town is ready to deal with whatever might arise from the seriously cold weather, according to Police Chief Jim Read, the town’s emergency preparedness coordinator.

“We kind of stand at the ready and so all cards are in place,” Chief Read said, noting that he worries more about snow than cold. But he said both emergency shelters — Shelter Island School and the senior center are well stocked and could respond if needed.

“We’re always in a state of somewhat readiness,” said Mary Wilson, who heads the town’s disaster committee. “It’s going to get cold tomorrow and if something happens, we’ll deal with it,” she said.

Her advice to residents is to try to do those errands today and to stock up on food and medications that might be needed. She also has one more important warning: extreme cold can mean icy conditions both on roads and walkways so avoid walking with glass bottles that break easily should you fall.