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New York hit by season’s first big snowfall

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New York has been hit by the season’s first big snowfall.

On November 18, three feet of snow blanketed the Buffalo area and forced the closure of a 132-mile stretch of the state Thruway.

National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Ansuini said the storm was dumping 3 to 4 inches of snow per hour.

The Thruway Authority said white-out conditions caused by wind gusts of more than 30 mph forced the closure of Interstate 90 in both directions from the Rochester area to Ripley, on the Pennsylvania border 60 miles southwest of Buffalo.

In neighboring Orchard Park, the highway superintendent called the rate of snowfall “unbelievable,” while next door in Hamburg even police cars were getting stuck in the deep snow.


The National Weather Service warned that the snow off the Great Lakes would continue at least through November 19, affecting also Interstate 81 between Syracuse and the Canadian border.

Lancaster, just east of Buffalo, reported 42 inches by 9 AM, while just to the south, in Orchard Park, there was 36 inches. But typical of lake-effect snow, areas just a few miles away, including downtown and north Buffalo, had seen just a couple of inches.

State troopers were using all-terrain vehicles to deliver blankets and other emergency supplies to motorists stranded on the Thruway overnight, said state police Capt. Ed Kennedy. It wasn’t known yet how many people were stuck in their vehicles Tuesday.

The Tug Hill region on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario, notorious for its yearly snow totals, was bracing for 2 to 3 feet of snow.

The National Weather Service said the Lake Michigan shoreline could get 6 to 16 inches of snow by November 18, while 4 to 18 inches was forecast along Lake Superior.

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