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Regional News

North Country hit by first major snowstorm, DOT urges caution

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Catherine Loper/WRVO
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Some portions of the North Country, including the Tug Hill plateau, are expected to see major snowfall by Wednesday evening. (file photo)

North Country residents are seeing their first major snowfall this season. Heavy lake effect snow is expected to continue around parts of Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego Counties throughout the day and into tomorrow morning. Up to three feet of snow could fall in some areas by Wednesday evening.

Department of Transportation's Mike Flick has some advice for North Country drivers on their way to work.

"Slow down, take your time. You'll get there," Flick said. "You're better off being late than not getting there at all. Plow crews are out, they're well practiced. They're out there for your safety. Give them room to work and it'll all be OK."

A lot of people may also be heading out to get snow tires. Flick encourages those folks to be careful.

"Well, then I guess to those folks, I would say to plan your trip accordingly," Flick explained. "If you have to get somewhere, get there ahead of the storm, make plans to stay over if you have to. And if you really don't feel comfortable being on the road, maybe you're better off staying home."

A lake effect snow warning is in effect for Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego Counties until Wednesday afternoon. A lot of schools around the North Country are closed or delayed today (Tuesday), including Watertown City Schools and Jefferson Community College.

Snow is also causing problems in western New York. The state Thruway is closed in both directions from Rochester almost to Buffalo. That's due to heavy lake effect snow coming off of Lake Erie.