The first snow storm of the new year is expected to drop up to a foot of snow in the area before it ends Friday morning, the National Weather Service reported today.
Meteorologist John Quinlan said snowfall will come in bands of heavy snow throughout today in Fulton and Montgomery counties.
Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to reach below zero tonight and rise only into the single digits Friday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
A tractor-trailer sits off Route 30A after hitting a utility pole this morning in Johnstown.
Photo by Bill Trojan/The Leader Herald
The amount of snow is expected to range from 8 to 12 inches, Quinlan said.
"We are going to be dealing with bands of heavier snow," he said.
Quinlan said the Weather Service has put a winter storm warning into effect for the area today and Friday.
According to National Grid's online outage map, no power was lost in Fulton or Montgomery county as of 9:20 a.m. today.
However, the storm was causing accidents, and local schools, including the Johnstown and Gloversville districts, closed for the day.
Among the accidents was a tractor-trailer accident on Route 30A in Johnstown. The tractor-trailer struck and damaged a utility pole.
Michael Lysiak, owner of Lysiak Enterprises of Johnstown, said this morning he had three of his trucks plowing driveways and parking lots today.
"We expect to be going from now until the end of the storm," Lysiak said.
He said his crews were keeping up with the snowfall.
Mark Yost, superintendent of highways and facilities for Fulton County, said this morning his crews were working at full capacity clearing county roads. He said he expected to be working throughout the snowstorm.
Yost said the snowfall was evenly spread throughout the county, except for some sections in the northern part of the county that were getting more snow.
Roughly 90 miles of county roads would be cleared through Friday, Yost said.
The city of Amsterdam declared a snow emergency as of 9 a.m. today. The emergency will prohibit parking on city streets.
Motorists needing parking accommodations can visit the Amsterdam Police Department's Facebook page to view a list of city- owned parking lots.
The National Weather Service said some areas from Buffalo to Albany could get up to 14 inches by the time the storm subsides Friday. Forecasters said today's high temperatures weren't likely to hit double digits in many areas, while the highs across the North Country will remain below zero throughout the day. Windy conditions and lows well below zero will make it feel like minus 30 in some parts of the Adirondacks tonight and Friday morning, the weather service said.
The new year's first major storm is courtesy of a winter double whammy hitting New York from the east and west, prompting the weather service to issue winter storm warnings and wind chill advisories for most of the state into Friday morning.
Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area and the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Long Island - where 8 to 10 inches of snow could fall and winds could gust up to 45 mph.
The storm dropped up to a foot of snow on parts of Michigan and 6 inches or more in Illinois, prompting hundreds of flight cancellations Wednesday into and out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.com. About 1,000 U.S. flights were canceled for Thursday, with O'Hare and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International most affected.
Authorities said the weather may have been a factor in a fatal crash Wednesday evening involving a pickup and a bus carrying casino patrons in Indiana. Police said the truck's driver was killed and 15 bus passengers were injured in the collision on a snow-covered and slushy highway in Rolling Prairie.
Although lesser amounts of snow were forecast to the south, Philadelphia and parts of southern New Jersey were expected to see 3 to 7 inches of blowing, drifting snow.
In Toms River, N.J., Jonas Caldwell said he was prepared for whatever the storm might bring.
"Santa brought me a snow blower, and I've got rock salt for the ice, so now I'm just waiting for the storm," he said while grabbing a coffee at a convenience store.
Caldwell, an investment adviser, said he could work from home if necessary, but he was hoping that wouldn't be the case.
"There are too many distractions at home," he said. "But I won't be stupid ... If it gets as bad as they say it will be, or looks like it will, I'll be staying put."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.