Buffalo, western New York brace for up to 4 feet of snow

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency starting Thursday in parts of western New York ahead of a potentially dangerous bout of lake-effect snow.

The National Weather Service forecast up to 4 feet of snow or more through Sunday that “may paralyze” the hardest-hit communities, including Buffalo, with periods of near-zero visibility.

<p>Heavy equipment operator Don Beitz walks around a giant snow thrower at the New York State Thruway's Walden Garage in Cheektowaga, N.Y., while preparing for the impending snowstorm that is expected to dump several feet of snow on the area from 7 p.m. Thursday until 7 p.m. Friday.</p>

Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP

Heavy equipment operator Don Beitz walks around a giant snow thrower at the New York State Thruway's Walden Garage in Cheektowaga, N.Y., while preparing for the impending snowstorm that is expected to dump several feet of snow on the area from 7 p.m. Thursday until 7 p.m. Friday.

Hochul’s state of emergency covers 11 counties, with commercial truck traffic banned from a stretch of Interstate 90 southwest of Buffalo after 4 p.m. Thursday.

The snowfall was expected to be at its greatest intensity between 7 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday.

“I want western New Yorkers to take this seriously,” Hochul said.

The weather service also warned of accumulations of 2 feet or more of lake-effect snow in parts of northern Michigan through Sunday.