County officials in Suffolk say a state of emergency is now in effect, as blizzard conditions prevail throughout the region. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is onLong Island and is expected to make a formal statement about the storm within the hour.
At this hour, manyWALKlisteners are tuning-in via battery-operated radios, --as thousands of Long Islanders are without electrical service. PSEG-LI reports approximately 6,000 outages inSuffolkCounty. The hardest-hit community isSouth Hampton, where more than 3,600 households and businesses lost service, according to the utility. Other significant pools of outages are reported in the towns ofEast Hampton, 1,690; Southold, 497;Huntington, 66; Brookhaven, 62, and Southold, 53.
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone declared a state of emergency shortly before11:00 a.m.,WALKMeteorologist Pat Pagano describes the 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 scheduled 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.
Experts also have a tip for drivers who find themselves behind a snowplow: public safety officials inSuffolksay: forget the usual rule about a car-length for every 10 mph., --keep back at least 200 ft.
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. Snow accumulation of up to 18” is possible over someLong Islandneighborhoods, according to theNWS.
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 to WALK97.5-FM for updates throughout the day, and for reports about travel conditions for the ride home.