Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike lifted the travel advisory at noon Monday, but advises continued caution.

The first significant storm of the pre-winter season began early Sunday morning with icy conditions that kept local law enforcement, highway crews, and tow truck operators busy much of the morning Dec. 1.

After Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike issued a no unnecessary travel advisory at about 10 a.m. the calls for help slowed down, but he says there were more than two dozen incidents across the county involving multiple cars either sliding off the highway or stuck on hills. Because of the increased number of calls, additional deputies and dispatchers were called in to work.

The travel advisory was lifted at noon Monday, Dec. 2, but Spike encouraged continued caution and thanked motorists for heeding the advisory which reduced the number of vehicles on the highways.

Most incidents involved property damage only, but roads were temporarily closed in some locations for up to two hours while the accidents were cleared. Spike says icy conditions made it hazardous to attempt travel until roads could be treated by the highway departments.

The heaviest snow fell overnight Sunday to Monday, with between six and eight inches reported most places, but up to 10 inches in some of the higher elevations, according to Spike.

"Having patrol vehicles with AWD or 4WD helped deputies address incidents," says Spike.

In Steuben County, Office of Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall says the no unnecessary travel advisory remained in effect through Monday, when some 5,000 homes there, including a cluster near Wayne on Keuka Lake were without power.

Penn Yan and Dundee Central Schools, Keuka College, Penn Yan Library, and some other schools and agencies were closed Monday, and preparations for this week's Yates Christmas Program were delayed two hours.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday declared a state of emergency for seven counties impacted by a massive winter storm that dumped up to a foot-and-a-half of snow in some parts of the state.

Ulster, Schenectady, Saratoga, Renneslear, Greene, Columbia and Albany counties are all affected by the emergency declaration, which will allow "more flexibility" for local governments to utilize state resources where needed, Cuomo said.

"A declaration of a state of emergency allows more flexibility for the state government, working with the local governments, to make sure we can deploy resources where we need to deploy resources," Cuomo said.

The state will also be deploying 300 National Guard members to assist with snow removal and other cleanup measures.

Snowfall totals have varied across with state, with the Capital region and upper portions of the mid-Hudson Valley seeing the greatest totals.

The city of Schenectady saw 18 inches, while Albany was hit with 14 inches as of Monday morning. An additional four to six inches is expected to hit the region before the storm clears early Tuesday morning.

In addition to deploying 300 National Guard members, the state has 4,200 plow operators at its disposal, including 300 in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

The state also has half-a-million pounds of salt available to municipalities that need it.

"There's a variance in the forecasts and the reality, so we'll plan accordingly," Cuomo said.

Additional updates will be issued as they become available.

Please call 911 only for emergencies. Do not call 911 to report power outages or to learn about road conditions. To check on the status of power outages, visit www.nyseg.com. For updates on state road conditions, call 511.

Includes reporting by Chad Arnold, USA TODAY Network New York.