Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for Nassau and Suffolk counties amid a powerful Nor’easter walloping the region.
“We are concerned about Long Island,” Cuomo told reporters during a press conference Saturday morning.
Cuomo said his primary concern for the Island is not heavy snowfall, which is expected to increase in intensity as the day goes on, but rather potential flooding along the coast.
“That is probably the worst curveball Mother Nature can throw,” he said of potential floods.
The governor said he’ll be on Long Island Saturday afternoon and expressed concern about the state of the Long Island Expressway and the Long Island Rail Road.
Under a state of emergency, Cuomo has the power to ban travel on certain roads but he has yet to do so.
“The roads are open but that is a deceptive statement,” Cuomo said. He urged residents to refrain from driving.
“We have not closed the roads, however, as I’ve said before—and I can’t say forcefully enough—unless there is an emergency situation or a critical need, you should not be on the roads,” he added.
“The Long Island Rail Road has specific issues…and of course flooding is a primary concern on Long Island,” Cuomo continued.
The LIRR is running on its normal weekend service but the railroad may modify service if conditions deteriorate.
State officials also noted that all flights out of John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport have been cancelled. Long Island MacArthur Airport has also cancelled all flights.
The Island could get slammed with up to two feet of snow, forecaster said.