The state will close three downstate highways in anticipation of a major storm expected to bring significant snowfall and high winds to much of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday afternoon.
Interstate 84 and 87 south of Albany will close to all traffic beginning at midnight, along with the Long Island Expressway in Nassau and Suffolk County. Interstate 84 will close to commercial traffic at 5 p.m., according to Cuomo.
In a conference call with reporters, Cuomo said the state will decide around 3:30 a.m. whether to extend the highway closures past 5 a.m., depending on the weather. He declared a state of emergency across all of New York.
“We will be monitoring this all night long,” Cuomo said. “We’ll make it in enough time that we can announce at and give people notice at 4 or 5 a.m.”
Cuomo said Long Island is “expected to bear the brunt of the storm,” which is expected to intensify overnight. But all areas of the state are expected to see at least several inches of snow on top of precipitation that had gathered late Wednesday and through much of Thursday.
Thomas Pendergrast, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the downstate mass-transit system is expecting normal rush-hour traffic Thursday evening, but warned commutes could be difficult Friday.
“As it stands right now, we expect a relatively normal rush hour tonight,” Pendergrast said.