Blizzard Warning Is In Effect Until Midnight Tuesday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have declared states of emergency as the Tri-State area braces for a “crippling and potentially historic” storm that could bury communities in up to 4 or more feet of snow.

A blizzard warning is in effect for the metropolitan area until midnight Tuesday.

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Several inches of snow had already fallen by sunset Monday and the intensity of the snow was expected to pick up after that.

Two to 4 inches per hour are expected to fall Monday night into Tuesday morning. Accumulations of 18 to 24 inches are possible by Tuesday afternoon.

Parts of Suffolk County and Connecticut could see several feet of snow, according to CBS2 Meteorologist Justin Lewis.

Winds will be from the north, gusting up to 55 mph. They will be strongest across eastern Long Island. Visibility will be only a quarter of a mile or less at times.

The Weather Service said some roads may become impassable due to the heavy snow.

Some schools are planning to close early or not open at all in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut because of the potentially crippling snowstorm.

‘Prepare For The Worst’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Monday for New York City and suburban areas to the north and east, warning that conditions during the snowstorm will be “dangerous and difficult.”

Cuomo said the massive storm barreling into the area “should not be taken lightly” and “could affect health and safety.”

He urged commuters to get home early, anticipating major disruptions on mass transit and the roads.

Cuomo said New York City will have limited subway service after 7 or 8 p.m. because of the storm,l and subway service was to shut down altogether after 11 p.m.

“You should plan to leave work early or wherever you are to try to get home on the early side,” Cuomo said. “They want to put the subway cars in a place where they’re not going to be hurt by the snow.”

PATH service will operate on a regular schedule until 9 p.m., and then go on a weekend schedule. The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North could be closed around 11 p.m. Monday.

Cuomo announced all nonemergency vehicles will be banned from traveling on roads in 13 New York state counties — from Ulster and Sullivan south to New York City and Long Island — after 11 p.m.

“The closing of the roads is a safety precaution, it’s never an easy decision,” Cuomo said. “You close the roads, people can’t travel, some people find it an inconvenience; if you leave the roads open, people can get stuck on the roads.”

New York City public schools will be closed Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. Regents exams are being canceled and will be rescheduled. All after-school activities and programs scheduled for Monday also have been canceled.

New York City’s streets will only be available to emergency vehicles starting at 11 p.m. and that will continue until the situation is considered safe, de Blasio said.

The New York City Sanitation Department has all hands on deck with 2,400 employees working per shift on 12-hour shifts.

Alternate side parking has been suspended for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Greater New York Taxi Association is offering free cab service for emergency responders trying to get to work, and disabled and elderly residents who become stranded.

In Islip, town officials aren’t taking any chances and have activated the emergency response center.

Crews will be ready to hit the roads as soon as the snow comes

“All of our fuel capacity is full to capacity,” said Dept. of Public Works Commissioner Tom Owens. “All of our trucks are up and running. We have 150 pieces of town equipment.”

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie also declared a state of emergency. Forecasters are predicting the greatest accumulations for Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Union counties. The state’s Emergency Management Office is monitoring the situation.

A travel ban for the entire state of New Jersey was also to be issued for the entire state of New Jersey beginning at 11 p.m. Monday.

In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has declared a state of emergency and is opening the state Emergency Operations Center to prepare for the storm.

A travel ban is also being issued for the entire state starting at 9 p.m. Monday.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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