State of Emergency Declared for Long Island as Locals Brace for the Worst

Written by Cait Russell  |  26. January 2015

Update: The Governor has issued a Travel Ban for both Suffolk & Nassau Counties, as well as New York City. The ban will go into effect at 11 PM tonight, and stay in effect until further notice. 

As per the Governor's Executive Order, only authorized emergency vehicles will be permitted on closed roads, and violators will be subject to a fine of up to $300, and could be arrested on Misdemeanor Charges. Please be sure to check back for updates. 

At 2 PM this afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a State of Emergency for Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley, banning tractor trailers on select roadways beginning at 4 PM. The State is also considering a full travel ban on roads and bridges on Long Island and in NYC, and has dispatched 359 snow plows to Long Island to help local municipalities handle the snow. Additionally, hundreds of members of the National Guard will be dispatched to the area, along with additional snow removal equipment.

“As New York State prepares for a major snowstorm, I am declaring a State of Emergency to ensure local governments have the tools and resources they need to respond quickly and effectively,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement earlier today. “With forecasts showing a potentially historic blizzard for Long Island, New York City, and parts of the Hudson Valley, we are preparing for the worst and I urge all New Yorkers to do the same – take this storm seriously and put safety first. If leaving work early is an option, I urge residents in downstate communities to do so and stay off roads and our public transit networks as we brace for the storm’s impact.”
In Suffolk County, County Executive Steve Bellone has declared a State of Emergency, stating that enacting the State of Emergency "will allow us to do what is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people and property of Suffolk County."
In a press conference earlier this afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that at 11 PM this evening, train service would be suspended, and that throughout the boroughs, cars must be off the roads in order to allow sanitation trucks to clear the roadways of snow safely and efficiently. He also announced a postponement of the regents, as well as school closures citywide tomorrow, stating "This will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of New York City."
In order to help Long Islanders get home safely, we've put together a Travel & Transit Update with the latest info on Transit Delays, Road Closures, and more:
The Long Island Rail Road
Between 2 PM and 4 PM this afternoon, Long Island Rail Road will have 8 additional trains leaving Penn Station, before service is suspended at 11 PM this evening.
Babylon Branch
  • 2:32 PM  express to Lynbrook, then all stops to Babylon
  • 3:00 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, then all stops to Babylon
  • 3:31 p.m. express to Rockville Centre, then all stops to Babylon
Port Jefferson Branch
  • 2:08 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, then all stops to 
  • Huntington
  • 2:29 p.m. stopping at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, then all stops to Huntington
  • 3:24 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Westbury and Hicksville
Port Washington Branch to Great Neck
  • 3:40 p.m. stopping at Woodside, Flushing-Main St., then all stops to Great Neck
  • Far Rockaway Branch 
  • 3:48 p.m. express to Locust Manor, then all stops to Far Rockaway

Long Island Bus Service

Suffolk County Transit
Due to the State of Emergency, and the current forecast, the Suffolk County Transit Authority will terminate service at 6 PM this evening. There will be no bus service tomorrow, January 27th.

NICE Buses - Nassau Inter County Express
Buses will be experiencing extreme delays, as well as detours, severely curtailed service and service suspensions  tonight, including the ABLE Ride Service.Riders on routes n20/21, n23, n25, and n27 should expect delays and service suspensions. Bus Riders are encouraged to follow the NICE Bus on Facebook for the latest service updates.

Traffic & Road Closures
Governor Cuomo has announced a Travel Ban on all State & Local Roads for both Nassau & Suffolk County. The ban will begin at 11 PM tonight, and will be in effect until further notice. As per the Governor's Executive Order, only authorized emergency vehicles will be permitted on closed roads, and violators will be subject to a fine of up to $300, and could be arrested on Misdemeanor Charges.

MacArthur Airport
MacArthur Airport has announced that Southwest Airlines has cancelled all flights after 3:30 PM today, as well as all flights on Tuesday. US Airways has cancelled all flights for today, effective immediately, and all flights for Tuesday. For more information, please visit MacArthur Aiport's official website.

School Closings
Across Long Island, numerous school closures have been announced. Be sure to check our Long Island School Closures Page for the latest updates on your local district closings.

For the most up to date weather information, head over to the LongIsland.com Weather Center, where you can find the latest weather forecasts, advisories and more.

[Sources: Governor CuomoSuffolk County, NYS DOT, Suffolk County Transit, NICE BusesMacArthur Airport, MTANYC.]

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