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Storm hits state hard; Tri-Lakes spared brunt

The Adirondacks and the North Country weren’t expected to get hit hard by the nor’easter moving its way across the state, unlike other areas such as the Southern Tier toward the Catskills, Mohawk Valley and the Capital Region.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo placed National Guard personnel on standby and activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center to enhanced monitoring mode as a severe winter storm passed through many parts of the state Sunday. He announced the state emergency response bunker will be open until the end of the storm, and that 524,000 tons of salt are available to help combat black ice and snowy roads.

“This storm has the potential to cause significant problems as many New Yorkers return from the Thanksgiving holiday today and commute to work tomorrow,” Cuomo said in a press release Sunday.

The forecast called for the heaviest snow accumulations in the western Catskills, with totals expected to hit two feet. The Southern Tier and Capital District regions were expected to see 12 to 18 inches, while Central New York and the Mohawk Valley were expected to receive up to 15 inches of snow. New York City and Long Island getting approximately 1 to 4 inches.

When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.

Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.

If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, a set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick-energy foods and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.

If you have a cellphone or other communications device, such as a two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and with you whenever traveling.

The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving.

It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways.

Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.