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Nor'easter Triggers Blizzard Warning In Suffolk County, As New York Braces For Widespread Snowfall

DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Long Island is going to get the brunt of the nor'easter in New York.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has already declared a state of emergency, starting Friday at 8 p.m.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports, New York state officials called Long Island the possible epicenter of the storm, and are grateful the timing is what it is - on a weekend. They're warning of dangerous roads, cold and whiteout conditions.

As of 8 p.m., New York is in a state of emergency, with Long Island seeing possibly its most significant snowfall in years.

The warnings are up. An army of salt trucks are filling up. Across Suffolk and in the Town of Islip, they're gearing up for a potential foot of snow or more, with 2-3 inches of snow falling per hour.

"When there is a state of emergency, you can park your car on the lawn. Certainly in the driveway. Squash them in, off the road. If they are on the roads and impeding snow plowing, you will be ticketed," said Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

The snow plan for folks on Long Island?

"Get out of here. Yes, get out of Dodge," one person said.

"Stay put. Don't go anywhere," said another.

As CBS2's Ali Bauman reports, the Costco lot was in a frenzy Friday evening with Long Islanders stocking up before the storm.

"Very busy, very busy, oh my gosh," Westbury resident Serita Arroz said.

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"Everyone wants to prepare 'cause it gets pretty crazy," Levittown resident Chelsea Morrison said.

"I got ... wine, I got hummus and some crackers," Garden City resident Ralph Di Re said.

"Sounds like a perfect evening," Bauman said.

"Everyone's going into their cocoon, so gotta be prepared, you know," Di Re said.

Families were getting ready to hunker down for the weekend.

"Just gotta get the essentials. Milk, ice cream, some fruits and vegetables, and the rotisserie chicken," said Ken Yu, of Great Neck.

Darren Pittman was heading home to dust off his snow blower.

"My wife doesn't know that she's gonna be helping me tomorrow, so just looking forward to being inside and just staying safe," he said.

"Is he gonna be doing all the work tomorrow?" Bauman asked Pittman's wife.

"That's right," she said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul says stay home and stay safe.

"A famous mayor of Buffalo once said how to handle a blizzard? Sit home with a six-pack of beer and wait it out. So you can have a nice bottle of Long Island wine, I don't care what your preference is here, but stay home everybody," she said.

She adds roads will be wildly unpredictable.

"Here is what I'm asking New Yorkers. Just stay off the roads. Get through your workday today. Fill up the gas tank on the way home. Make sure you have all the scrapers, extra gloves, blankets, water in your vehicles," Hochul said.

"We are looking at high accumulations, high winds, and then subsequent very, very low temperatures," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

"It is all about the wind factor. It affects visibility. It is dangerous to be on roads if you can't see the vehicles around you," Hochul said. "I'm asking people to take heed of those warnings."

That will make the clean up challenging. The Long Island Expressway and Long Island parkways will have reduced speed limits of 45 miles per hour. Service on the LIRR will be suspended at 8 a.m. Saturday.

People are reminded to give plows time to do their job.

"Don't crowd the plow. It keeps the plow operator safe. It keeps you safe," said New York state Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Dominguez.

Hochul says he biggest nightmare is that people will be stranded on roads. That's why after 8 p.m. Friday and certainly when the snow starts to fall, unless you are an emergency or hospital worker, you are asked to end unnecessary travel, adding it will take time to get life back to normal by Monday.

Suffolk County is under a blizzard warning from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

"This is likely to be one of the most significant storms we have seen over the last several years here," Bellone said.

LINKWinter Storm Survival Guide

In preparation for the storm, crews have been putting salt on streets and sidewalks across the state. Suffolk County has 18,000 tons of salt and 200 vehicles.

The governor's goal is to have the roads cleared and safe by Monday, but officials are asking residents to be patient.

"You can be certain because of the conditions that the cleanup is going to take some time on a storm like this," Bellone said.

Stick with CBS2, CBS News New York and for the latest forecast and weather alerts.

CBS2's Elijah Westbrook and Carolyn Gusoff contributed to this report.

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