BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Officials and residents on eastern Long Island are bracing for what could be as much as a foot of snow.

A winter storm warning is in effect for Suffolk County through Thursday night.

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“This is a real storm, it’s a big storm and it’s complicated by the cold and the wind that we expect out of this weather event,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

Bellone said he is in talks with the governor about the possibility about shutting down roadways, including the Long Island Expressway, if travel becomes too dangerous.

“It is likely that we are going to be looking to suspend public transportation tomorrow on our bus system and we may be delaying service on Friday,” he said. “I think what we’ve learned is that get people off of those roads, give the plows the time to do their work then it’s better for public safety.”

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In Brookhaven, crews Wednesday were mixing a combination of salt and water to coat the roads, creating a barrier to the snow and ice that’s coming.

It’s a familiar routine for Highway Superintendent Dan Losquardo, who implemented a GPS tracking system for nearly 800 pieces of snow removal equipment that will hit the roads during the storm.

“We may be in that 8 to 12-inch range which is certainly enough to hamper travel,” he told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff. “We want to encourage everyone to stay home unless it’s an emergency because if it’s truly an emergency, call 911.”

And Losquardo suggests residents get cars off the streets.

“It allows us to clear the snow much better,” he said. “Much easier to brush fresh snow off your car than dig it out of compounded snow pushed in from a 40,000-pound plow.”

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The town has already cancelled tomorrow’s scheduled swearing-in of elected officials and other cancellations are expected.