Storm Wrap-Up: Digging Out As Lake Effect Storm Continues
A travel advisory in Lewis County was lifted Wednesday morning, but Jefferson County's advisory remains in effect.
Click on the picture for our storm wrap-up from 7 News At Noon. We have reports by Asa Stackel from the Carthage area; by John Moore, who talked to some stranded travelers in Watertown; and by Chris Horvatits, who tried to go to the village of Adams.
The lake effect snows are expected to continue overnight. A storm warning expires at 6 a.m. Thursday. 7 News meteorologist Joe LaPlante says the storm could dump another 8 to 15 inches of snow, depending on where you are.
The Lewis County advisory was lifted at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, Route 81 remains closed from the Canadian border to Brewerton while crews try to clean out the massive amounts of snow dumped by a lake effect storm.
Jefferson County's fire and emergency management office is urging people to stay home because "weather conditions simply are not improving as we had hoped."
"So for everyone’s safety, we are asking everyone to stay home and take the day, not the hour, to dig out."
State plows, meanwhile, are in full combat mode.
Spokesman Mike Flick says highway crews are fatigued after 48 hours of nonstop plowing and crews from areas like Utica and Syracuse are coming in to give local crews a break.
Flick says the plow operators are keeping up as best as they can with the snowfall, but it's tough when the snow falls at 2 to 3 inches an hour.
The villages of West Carthage and Carthage are digging out from feet of snow. Roads were passable, but officials were still restricting on-street parking so they can keep the streets clear.
"We're going to start closing blocks of Bridge Street," West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto told Stackel, "and detour traffic to the side streets to allow us to scrape it down to the blacktop and clean it up."
"It's pretty rough after yesterday," he said, with some of the heavy traffic."
The two villages, along with the town of Wilna, have declared states of emergency, which gives officials the authority to do things like restrict parking.
And some people, like Carthage resident Rob Mushtare, are taking the hint and staying home.
"Mom's making a nice breakfast," he said. Other than that, he's "just staying put. Not going anywhere."
In Watertown, Moore caught up with some travelers who were stranded at the Hilton Garden Inn.
"We were under the impression you were going to get one to three inches of snow," said Joe Hinderliter, who was here from Pennsylvania on businesses.
"Maybe we got our inches and feet mixed up."
"It's been crazy," Hilton Gardens desk manager Shannon Fravel said, "people in and out, people stranded that don't want to be here."
The hotel's restaurant, one of the few in Watertown still open, is starting to run low on food, but managers hope to be able to replenish their supply Wednesday.
Horvatits tried to get to Adams to report on the situation there, but couldn't make it into the village.
A jack-knifed tractor-trailer stopped his progress. People there were taking advantage of a relative lull in the storm to dig out Wednesday morning.
"Making some progress, yeah," Adams Eifert said. "Knocking the banks down, blow it out, knock the banks down, blow it out."
Saturday, December 20, 2014, Watertown, NY
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