On Long Island's East End this morning, highway crews were putting down salt and sand-salt mixtures as light snow began to fall.

By mid-day, East End town police reported about two dozen accidents, none of them serious. Several involved single cars sliding off roads.

No town officials have yet declared a state of emergency.

In Riverhead, highway crews spent much of the morning getting their equipment ready, and concentrated on getting some salt down on the main roads.

"We're just asking people to stay out of our way, to stay off the roads," said Riverhead Highway Superintendent George Woodson. "This is going to be a heavy storm and hard to push."

Woodson said it appeared that the East End would not get as much snow as western Long Island, though the total snowfall could wind up at a foot or so. "Even if we only got six or seven inches, with 40 or 50 mile an hour winds, it will be really rough."

The anticipated storm had one immediate impact. Signs were posted on the stores at the busy Tanger Outlet Mall in Riverhead that they would close at 3 p.m. because of the blizzard. The decision, one mall worker said, had come down from a regional office.

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The sprawling parking lots at the mall were mostly empty. One shopper, Nick Fredga of Garden City, said he had come to show the mall to some relatives who were visiting from Italy. "We're going to leave soon," he said.