A blizzard is forecast to blanket Long Island in up to 10 inches of snow Thursday into Friday, bringing with it coastal flooding, strong winds and subzero temperatures—making hazardous travel conditions.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning from 6 p.m. Thursday through 1 p.m. Friday in expectation of 6 to 10 inches of snow, up to 45 mph wind gusts and wind chills as low as -10. The snow may briefly switch to freezing rain.

“This will lead to whiteout conditions…making travel extremely dangerous,” the agency said in a statement. “Do not travel. If you must travel…have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded…stay with your vehicle.”

A coastal flood watch is also in effect Thursday evening as the winter storm strikes during astronomically higher than usual tides—up to two feet higher—that may cause beach erosion and flooding in South Shore waterfront communities.

New York State, Nassau and Suffolk county officials are each monitoring the weather and coordinating their responses from their respective emergency operations centers.

(Click here to submit your storm photos)

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PSEG, which took over managing the Long Island Power Authority electrical system on New Year’s Day, said it’s arranging contractors to assist the utility’s own crew respond to power lines down by the storm.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo cautioned drivers that major roadways such as the Long Island Expressway could be closed as a result of the storm. Snow plow crews are pre-treating the roads with ice-melting salt before the snow starts piling up.

For those taking mass transit, the Long Island Rail Road is keeping its waiting rooms open around the clock through Monday. Train service may be temporarily suspended if the snow accumulates to more than 10 inches, the LIRR said.

“Blowing, drifting snow can make travel difficult and dangerous, so I urge citizens to exercise caution if they have to leave their homes,” Cuomo said. “Keep a close eye on the weather, follow any instructions issued by local emergency officials, and check on your neighbors and family members.”

Notable closings:

Adelphi University: The Garden City Campus, Manhattan Center and Hauppauge Centers will close Thursday, January 2 at 4:30 p.m. and will remain closed on Friday, January 3.

Nassau Community College: All  classes and activities at Nassau Community College—as well as campus services other than Public Safety and Physical Plant—will be canceled for:  Thursday, January 2, as of 1:30 p.m., and Friday day and evening, January 3.

Suffolk County Community College: For Friday, 1/03/14 All classes and activities at all campuses are cancelled. For Saturday 01/04/14 all driver education classes are cancelled. The cancellation of classes does not impact the normal business operations of the College. All staff members essential to bringing the College back into full operation are expected to report to work. All other employees must report to work or utilize accruals to take a day off with the approval of their supervisor/Campus Dean.





Important Numbers:

PSEG Long Island: 1-800-490-0075.
Suffolk County police non-emergency line: 631-852-2677.
Nassau County non-emergency line: 1-888-684-4274
North Hempstead: 516-869-6311
Hempstead: 516-489-5000
Oyster Bay: 516-677-5757
Babylon: 631-957-3000
Huntington: 631-351-3000
Smithtown: 631-360-7512
Islip: 631-224-5380
Brookhaven: 631-451-TOWN



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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.