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Storm update: Governor declares state of emergency as snow fall increases across region

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for Suffolk County, as well as Nassau, NYC and several upstate counties, late Monday morning.

Several roadways such as the Long Island Expressway could face travel bans if snowfall rates reach the expected two to three inch per hour rate, according to the governor. A travel advisory also notes that delays should be expected on the Long Island Railroad.

“New Yorkers are being urged to avoid all unnecessary travel,” the governor’s office said in a press release.

Anyone who must travel should do so with extreme caution and try to reach their destination before noon, the release said.

“This storm is no joke and the main concern right now is that the expected snowfall rate of two inches per hour this afternoon creates an extremely dangerous situation on our roadways,” Mr. Cuomo said. “When snow is falling that quickly, it makes it very difficult for plows to keep up with it.”

Wind gusts could reach 50 mph or more on Long Island, especially on the East End.

No power outages have been reported on Shelter Island as of 11:30 a.m.

(Credit: Adam Bundy)

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said this morning that the storm that arrived last night is “a major event,” and will be a multi-day storm.

“This is a very difficult and challenging storm,” he said during a press briefing in Commack. “It’s going to go through multiple phases. Right now we have significant accumulation on the roadways, but still the worst is yet to come.”

High winds will kick up later in the day, pushing snow back onto roadways, the county executive said.

“It’s also going to make it difficult to drive and for the plow operators,” he said.

Most of the accumulation is expected to still happen later in the day. He said the heavy snow creates a concern about potential power outages and the county remains in contact with PSEG.

Mr. Bellone said Suffolk buses will be shut down Monday.

Anyone in need of assistance, such as for heating, can call 631-854-9100.

Anyone with a non-emergency situation can call 311. And emergencies should be directed to 911.

“Bottom line, this is a significant storm that we are facing today,” Mr. Bellone said. “The challenges are going to get worse throughout the day. The winds are going to be kicking up. The snow will be coming down at a rapid rate. And with those high winds, that combination, you’re going to be looking at potentially blind-out conditions.”

Shelter Island Highway Superintendent Brian Sherman reiterated that all non-emergency vehicle traffic should remain off the roads. Electrical outages should be directed to the PSEG call center at 800-490-0075.

Electrical emergencies, such as downed poles and live wires, should be reported to 911.