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Governor Cuomo is expected to join local officials this afternoon

Yaphank (WALK)

County officials inSuffolksay a state of emergency is now in effect, as blizzard conditions prevail throughout the region.

Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone made the announcement shortly before11:00 a.m.Earlier this morningWALKMeteorologist Pat Pagano forecast blizzard conditions and described our first, serious winter storm as fast-moving and “potentially-dangerous.” A blizzard warning remains in effect through6:00 p.m., according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Governor Cuomo is expected to join local officials this afternoon at the newLong IslandVisitorsCenternear L.I.E. Exit 52 in Dix Hills to make a statement about the storm this afternoon at2:00 p.m., according to published reports.

TheSuffolkCountyEmergencyOperationsCenteris open; and officials, including Executive Bellone, are keeping an eye on conditions throughout the county and maintaining communication with public safety authorities throughoutLong IslandandNew YorkState. Authorities throughout the region encourage everyone to stay put, and to put-off any unnecessary travel today.

Those who must drive are encouraged to remember: KEEP YOUR HEADLIGHTS ON, --they won’t help you see, but will help others see YOU.  Texting and/or using your phone while driving is illegal (even in pleasant weather). Keep plenty of space between you and the next vehicle, as sudden braking may cause skidding. And keep in mind: four wheel drive may propel your vehicle, but won’t help you stop safely.

WALK’s Pat Pagano says our first major winter storm of 2017 will drop more than 10” of snow by this evening, with snow drifts and wind-gusts of more than 40 miles-per-hour. Pagano. Snow accumulation of up to 18” in some neighborhoods is possible, according to theNWS.

High winds always raise concerns about downed power lines. but as of  11:30 a.m.PSEG-LI reports approximately 400 power outages inSuffolk. The majority are in the Town ofSouthampton, 134; followed byBabylonwith 92, 67 inHuntington, and 63 in Brookhaven,.

Long Islanders know the story: stay safe at home, if possible; park off-street to make way for snowplows and emergency vehicles; check WALKRadio.com for a complete list of cancellations and delayed openings; listen toWALK97.5-FM for updates throughout the day, and for reports about travel conditions for the ride home.

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