NY declares state of emergency in 11 counties following forecast of winter storm 

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New York has declared a State of Emergency for 11 counties as a winter storm is forecast to impact portions of upstate New York with intense lake effect snow through Sunday.

The most significant snowfall is expected Thursday and Friday with accumulations of up to four feet of snow possible in the Buffalo area and up to two feet or more of snow possible in the Watertown area, with snowfall rates of three or more inches per hour.

Hazardous travel conditions and local power outages as a result of the storm are likely due to the combination of snow and wind in the forecast. Lightning and thunder may also occur in the heavier, more intense bands.

Governor Kathy Hochul urged New Yorkers to stay alert and avoid unnecessary travel Thursday evening through Friday, particularly in the Buffalo and Watertown areas.

The State of Emergency applies to the following counties, as well as contiguous counties: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming.

“We all have to do our part to make sure that everyone stays safe during this winter storm — that’s why I have declared a State of Emergency for impacted counties, which will free up resources and boost our readiness,” Governor Hochul said.

“My administration has been preparing around the clock for this potentially life-threatening weather event, bringing in additional safety personnel and equipment, closing down the New York State Thruway, and activating Emergency Operation Centers. I urge all New Yorkers to stay prepared and vigilant over the next few days, making sure to look after vulnerable loved ones and neighbors.”

Lake Effect Snow Warning and Winter Storm Watches are in effect through Sunday evening for several counties in the Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York and North Country regions. As of Thursday, the National Weather Service forecast anticipates several feet of snow for multiple locations over the duration of this storm.

The State Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center is activating Thursday and the said the state’s stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs.

To support lake effect snow response in critical areas, a total of 112 staff from other regions, including 92 plow truck operators/supervisors, 11 equipment operator instructors, six mechanics, one operations manager, 1 ICS support staff, one safety representative, and one ICS support staff member were deployed to impacted regions.

Additionally, 15 plow trucks, 6 medium duty trucks with plow, and 1 bulldozer were also deployed.

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