3rd Update: Hochul Says LI is ‘Epicenter’ of Storm

Town officials at the Highway Department/photo by Pam Robinson

Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency effective at 8 p.m. Friday because of the oncoming blizzard that is expected to hit Long Island hard.

In a stop at the state Department of Transportation building in Melville, she said Long Island will likely “Be the epicenter of the storm,” which could dump a foot of snow or more on Long Island.

Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth delivered a similar message at the town Highway Department, reminding residents to keep their cars parked off street where possible, and to avoid throwing snow into the street.

At 1 a.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service said  wind chill values between 5 and 15.

The following town closings and cancellations were announced:

    • The Town Recycling Center will be closed, commercial refuse collection will be cancelled, and HART bus is cancelling Saturday routes.
    • Athletic fields and the Centerport Senior Beach House will be closed the entire weekend. The Dix Hills ice rink will be closed on Saturday but the lobby will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight to serve as a warming center.
    • Hochul said all Long Island Rail Road service would be canceled
    • All Long Island state parks will be temporarily closed Saturday morning. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings, and closings 

Smyth also warned about flooding hazards, noting that around 9:15pm Saturday, the 8-foot 4-inch tide and 40 MPH winds may cause waves that flood the Lloyd Neck and Eaton’s Neck causeways. The Highway Department has contingency plans in place in case the Asharoken Avenue causeway to Eaton’s Neck becomes impassable.

Accompanied by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, she urged residents to stay off roads and not “crowd the plow” if drivers wanted to pass the trucks.   The state is sending more equipment to deal with the snow, and adding extra state troopers and more DOT workers, including 12 to Melville.

“Take it from someone who lived on the shores of Lake Erie during winter blizzard, it is all about the wind factor,”  Hochul said. “It affects visibility. It is dangerous to be on roads when you can’t see the vehicles around you. And common sense has to prevail here. I’m asking people to take heed of those warnings.”

The state declaration covers the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning effective from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Here are a few numbers you may need; this list will update as warranted.

In Huntington, Report road issues, downed trees and wires blocking roads to Highway at (631) 499-0444 or HuntingtonNY.gov/Highway

Optimum Outage Map:   https://www.optimum.com/outage-map
To report problems: https://www.optimum.net/support/alerts-and-notifications

PSEG-LI Outage Map https://mypowermap.psegliny.com/external/default.html

        • Download the PSEGLong Island mobile app to report outages and receive information on restoration times, crew locations and more.
        • Report an outage and receive status updates by texting OUT to PSEGLI (773454). You can also report your outage through the app, or the website psegliny.com/outages or by voice using the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant app on your smartphone.  Call 800-490-0075
        • Report an outage and receive status updates by texting OUT to PSEGLI (773454). You can also report your outage through the app, or the website psegliny.com/outagesor with your voice using the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant app on your smartphone. 

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