Cuomo Declares State of Emergency for Long Island Amid Winter Storm

Plows attacking the snow during a previous storm.
Plows attacking the snow during a previous storm.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday declared a state of emergency for Long Island amid a prolonged winter storm that’s threatening to pound the area with a wintry mix for most of the day.

The declaration allows the state government more flexibility in diverting resources to local municipalities, as it did last week when it delivered 3,500 tons of salt to towns and villages that were suffering from depleted supplies.

But, Cuomo said, salt shouldn’t be an issue this time around because most municipalities appear to be well-stocked.

As for this storm, the governor said it has “brought a mix of everything. We have snow, we have sleet, we have rain, we have ice.”

He advised residents not to be fooled by the rain because forecasters expect a second cycle of snowfall later in the afternoon when temperatures return to below freezing.

Cuomo has yet to close any state roads as he did in previous storms, but he left open the possibility if conditions worsen.

As of Thursday morning, some parts of the Island have already seen up to 9 inches of snow, including Commack in Suffolk County and Uniondale in Nassau County.

Several other communities measured upwards of 8 inches, according to unofficial amounts posted by the National Weather Service.

The agency issued a winter storm warning until 6 a.m. Friday. A high surf advisory is also in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.

The storm has already caused scattered systemwide delays on the Long Island Rail Road and made a mess of local roads and highways.

A traffic map of Long Island on the New York State Department of Transportation website reported that most of the roads in Nassau were experiencing severe snow and icy conditions. Winter road conditions appeared less severe further east.

“These storms are more frequent and they’re more ferocious,” Cuomo said.

“Don’t get cocky about it,” he added, “and don’t take them casually.”

The governor also declared a state of emergency for New York City and the Mid-Hudson.