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Buffalo, western NY brace for potentially dangerous storm

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency Thursday for parts of western New York ahead of a dangerous storm that had the potential to dump several feet of snow on some communities on the eastern ends of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The worst snowfall was expected in Buffalo, where the National Weather Service said up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) might fall in some spots through Sunday, with periods of near-zero visibility. Other areas could get a foot (0.3 meters) or less of the lake-effect snow, which is caused by frigid air picking up copious amounts of moisture from the warmer lakes.

Hochul's state of emergency covers 11 counties, with commercial truck traffic banned from a stretch of Interstate 90 after 4 p.m. Thursday. The snowfall was expected to be most intense between 7 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday, but with even more falling on Saturday.

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

In advance of the storm, the NFL announced it would relocate the Buffalo Bills' home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit on Sunday.

The switch in sites means the Bills will play back-to-back games in Detroit, as they are scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.

The weather service also warned of accumulations of 2 feet (0.6 meters) or more of snow in parts of northern Michigan through Sunday.

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