Snow piles up as lake effect storm pummels parts of north country

Noon storm coverage
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:38 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - As Watertown prepared for lake effect snow, New York state sent in help.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith spoke with Gov. Kathy Hochul Thursday and the governor said New York would send in extra snowplows for the city.

Those plows were going to take care of the main streets in Watertown, like Coffeen, Mill, State, and Washington streets. That way city crews could concentrate on side streets.

As for city streets, outer Coffeen Street was closed off late in the morning because of backed-up traffic having a tough time getting off Interstate 81.

As for the help from the state, city DPW chief Pat Keenan says it helps out quite a bit.

“It’s just less area for us to cover,” he said. “I think we calculated about 30 miles of travel lanes they’re taking care of. Generally, we’re somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 lane miles and them taking care of the main drags actually frees up our crews to be elsewhere.”

Interstate 81 is open, but it is not in great shape. Ramps are clogged with snow and cars. The state Department of Transportation has told all commercial truck drivers that they are allowed to use the right lane only.

Other interstates like the New York state Thruway have been closed off. Over by Buffalo, 41 miles of I-90 are shut down because of the snow in western New York.

So, what we see is what we get. Remember, there is a no-unnecessary-travel advisory in Jefferson County because of the intensity of the snowfall.

The number of calls police are handling is simply countless. They’ve been busy with stuck cars and tractor-trailers.

Because of the intensity of this lake effect snowstorm, 7 News will provide additional coverage Friday afternoon.

7 News plan to be live on the air at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. as anchor Jeff Cole and our weather team take you through the latest information and track the storm.

We’ll also have the latest details on First @ 5 and 7 News this Evening at 6 p.m.