County executive declares a state of emergency

TIM KELLY PHOTO | County Executive Steve Bellone

With Hurricane Sandy heading toward landfall early next week, County Executive Steve Bellone on Saturday declared a state of emergency for all of Suffolk.

The executive also ordered a mandatory evacuation of Fire Island, the thin barrier beach along the ocean shore, in Brookhaven and Islip towns. Residents there are required to leave the area by 2 p.m. Sunday.

The county opened its emergency operations center in Yaphank at 9 a.m. Friday and the center will be open throughout the weekend.

Mr. Bellone is urging all residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas to closely follow weather reports and emergency updates and to avoid making 911 calls except for life-threatening emergencies.