Storm updates: High Wind Warning in effect; Commercial vehicle ban on Thruway from Rochester west

Pembroke service area

Pembroke service area

— The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning, effective through 4 a.m. Sunday, for many counties in the Rochester area. Included in the warning are Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

— The state has issued a commercial vehicle ban on I-90, the Thruway, from Exit 46 near Henrietta (the I-390 exit, Rochester/Corning) to the Pennsylvania state line, and a full travel ban in Erie County at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The state Emergency Management office issued a public safety alert warning of heavy lake effect snow and whiteout conditions beginning Saturday night in Western New York. “Visibility will be reduced to almost zero and travel will be impossible,” it reads.

— State troopers will be checking all major routes of travel to ensure that motorists are as safe as possible during the oncoming winter storm, and will be working with local Emergency Operations Centers as needed.

If you drive off the road and are stuck in a snowbank or ditch, State Police advise you to stay in your vehicle and call 911 — and not to exit the vehicle unless it’s an absolute emergency, since you would put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.

State Police also advise motorists to roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Covered mufflers can cause serious physical injury or death due to inhalation of carbon monoxide.

— As of 10 p.m. Saturday, Erie County had around 850 outages among NYSEG and National Grid customers. There were a small amount of outages in counties in the Rochester region.

— The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has issued a travel advisory for all of Genesee County, effective 9 p.m. Saturday until further notice. The advisory is due to the severe weather conditions expected to begin in the evening.

Sheriff William Sheron Jr. encouraged residents to avoid unnecessary travel due to the expected strong winds, heavy snow and sub-zero visibility. During a travel advisory, roads are not closed, but no unnecessary travel is advised. “For your safety and the safety of first responders and highway snow removal personnel this weekend, please stay off the roads until conditions improve,” Sheron stated.

A Winter Storm Warning will go into effect for Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties for Sunday, with heavy lake effect snow possible. the snow will increase through Sunday morning and continue through Sunday before tapering late Monday afternoon. The heaviest of the lake snow is expected to stay west of Rochester. Genesee and Wyoming counties could end up seeing between 6 and 12 inches.