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Cuomo: Major Highways May Shut Down Ahead of Blizzard

Blizzard warning issued with 8-10 inches of snow possible into Friday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is encouraging commuters to use mass transit on Thursday as he warned of possible road closures ahead of an approaching blizzard. 

Those roads may include the Long Island Expressway and state parkways, Cuomo said during a conference call Wednesday afternoon. 

“We don’t want people to use their vehicle to commute in the morning and can’t get home tomorrow night because roads are closed,” Cuomo said, according to a PIX11 report

The National Weather Service on Wednesday afternoon issued a blizzard warning, in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday until 1 p.m. Friday, for all of Long Island as predicted snowfall totals inch upward. 

Up to an inch of snow is forecast overnight Wednesday into the morning rush hour, but the brunt of the storm will start Thursday evening, with an additional 7 to 9 inches falling through Friday morning, according to the blizzard warning. 

Heavy winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 45 mph will reduce visibility on the roadways and may lead to whiteout conditions. 

"Do not travel," the NWS said in its warning. "If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you." 

Extreme cold temperatures are coming along with the storm, with sub-20 degree weather and wind chills making it feel like 10 degrees below zero Thursday night into Friday. 

The Long Island Rail Road has already started prep work for the storm. In an advisory, the MTA said platforms have already been salted and extra engineers and signal maintainers will be working.

"The railroads are activating switch heaters, lubricating the switches and treating them with anti-freeze agents," the MTA stated.

PSEG, which took control of the power grid from the Long Island Power Authority on Wednesday, said it was bringing on contractors, including tree crews, to assist the utility's own workforce as it prepared for the storm. 

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