After declaring a state of emergency for Long Island and the rest of New York, Governor Cuomo announced that the Long Island Expressway would be closed between exits 87-S and I-84 from midnight until 5 AM, January 3rd. Whiteout conditions are expected to make driving extremely hazardous.
“This winter storm is predicted to produce blizzard-like conditions, snowfall amounts of approximately one foot, winds in excess of 45 miles per hour, and dangerously cold wind chills and these conditions may cause widespread power outages and roadway closures, damage to homes and businesses and public and private property, may result in moderate to severe coastal erosion, and will continue to pose a threat to the public health and safety,” the Governor said in a statement.
The LIE may reopen in the early morning; a decision on just when drivers will be allowed back on will be made closer to 4 AM.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 2, 2014
Cuomo previously urged commuters to take public transport today, and in a statement on the winter storm the MTA said the LIRR would be ready to deal with heavy snowfall.
“We are pre-salting station platforms, keeping station waiting rooms open around-the-clock, activating switch heaters, deploying snow removal equipment to key locations, and operating special anti-freeze trains to coat the tracks with de-icer in an effort to prevent ice build-up on the rails,” the statement said.
“Customers are advised to allow extra travel time and use caution on platforms and stairs and while boarding/exiting trains. If snow accumulations reach 10-13 inches, the LIRR may temporarily suspend service for the safety of customers and employees.”
The National Weather Service's Blizzard Warning will be in effect for Long Island until 1 PM tomorrow afternoon, and they are predicting whiteout conditions. The combination of heavy snow and high winds will lead to very low visibility on the roads tonight - the NWS has gone as far to advise locals to not travel whatsoever, and to keep a Winter Survival Kit on hand if venturing out is absolutely necessary. These weather conditions put vehicles at serious risk for getting stranded, which is why Governor Cuomo made the decision earlier today to close down the Expressway. If you do get stranded in your vehicle, the National Weather Service urges you to stay in your car.
For the most up to date weather information, go to the LongIsland.com Weather Center, where you can find the latest weather forecasts, advisories, and more.