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Heavy lake effect snow to impact western NY, North Country through the weekend

National Weather Service
Parts of western NY, including the Buffalo area could see more than 3 feet of snow by Saturday evening, with parts of the North Country expected to get close to 2 feet

Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency starting Thursday in parts of western New York ahead of a potentially dangerous bout of lake-effect snow.

The National Weather Service forecast up to 4 feet of snow or more through Sunday that “may paralyze” the hardest-hit communities, including Buffalo, with periods of near-zero visibility.

Hochul’s state of emergency covers 11 counties, with commercial truck traffic banned from a stretch of Interstate 90 southwest of Buffalo after 4 p.m. Thursday.

In addition, the following roads will be closed to commercial traffic starting at 4 p.m. Thursday.

  • Interstate 190 - Route 62 to I-90
  • Interstate 290 - full length
  • Interstate 990 - full length
  • Route 33 - full length
  • Route 219 - Route 39 to I-90
  • Route 400 - full length
  • Buffalo Skyway Route 5 - full length
  • I-81 - Exit 33 to Canadian border - trucks use right lane only

The snowfall was expected to be at its greatest intensity between 7 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday.
“I want western New Yorkers to take this seriously,” Hochul said.

The weather service also warned of accumulations of 2 feet or more of lake-effect snow in parts of the North Country, including the city of Watertown, through Sunday.

On Thursday, heavy lake effect snow closed schools and snarled traffic across Oswego County. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow called for no unnecessary travel in Oswego, due to the heavy, wet snow that fell on the Port City late Wednesday into Thursday.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.