Updated 4:10 p.m.: Watch changed to warning by NWS.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for all of Suffolk County, including Huntington, from 6 a.m. Friday through Saturday afternoon.
The nor'easter forecasted to hit Long Island starting late this evening is expected to bring upwards of 10-15 inches of snow to the area, with locally higher amounts.
Wind gusts associated with this classic New England nor'easter will range from 30-40 mph with howling gusts hitting 60 mph. Downed trees, tree limbs and flying debris could also be part of the problem and winds will also cause whiteout conditions and possibly down power lines, creating power outages.
The NWS forecasts the strongest winds and heaviest snowfall will occur from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, although snowfall should begin early Friday morning.
A Blizzard Warning is issued when extreme weather is expected: Falling and/or blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities – it is considered more serious than the previous Winter Storm Watch.
A technical "Blizzard" would mean the following conditions over a period of three or more hours: sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or higher with considerable blowing and/or falling snow that frequently reduces visibility to less than a 1/4 of a mile.
New York State
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that in anticipation the storm, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated at noon Friday to monitor the storm and coordinate response efforts.
NYS Department of Transportation has more than 1,270 plow trucks and 1,582 drivers standing by to pre-treat roadways with salt brine in advance of the storm and clear snow and ice once precipitation begins. NYSDOT also has 366,500 tons of road salt on hand.
Check conditions before venturing out by accessing NYSDOT’s free 511NY traffic and travel information system, which provides real-time travel information, by calling 511 or visiting www.511NY.org.
Long Island Rail Road will deploy fleets of snow and ice-busting equipment to keep outdoor tracks, third rails andcatenary wires clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather.
Track switches will be treated with antifreeze and switch heaters will be turned on to keep switches moving freely so trains can continue to be routed from one track to another. Outdoor steps at all commuter rail stations will be pretreated to prevent snow and ice build-up and shoveled as necessary.
More than 3,000 staff will be on call, ready to operate equipment from snow blowers and chainsaws to heavy trucks and front-end loaders. Equipment includes jet engines mounted on rail cars to blow snow from tracks at high speeds.
Visit http://lirr42.mta.info/ for updates.
The storm has the potential to cause electrical outages for over 100,000 customers in Long Island, according to LIPA. Among other preparations, the power utility is securing hundreds of extra line crews, tree trimmers, and support personnel to support the more than 500 lineman and 150 tree trimmers on site and ready to restore power.
Customers can report power outages to National Grid through the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) hotline: 1-800-490-0075 or at 631-755-6900 or by visiting their Storm Central website at www.lipower.org/stormcenter from a computer or mobile device. To report via text messaging, text OUT to myLIPA (695472) - pre-registration is required.
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