The National Weather Service has announced a blizzard warning will remain in effect until 4 p.m. Friday in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, southern Erie and Wyoming counties.

Additionally, a winter storm watch will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday in four of the counties. Allegany has been excluded.

The NWS predicts total snow accumulations of 1 to 2 feet and wind speeds as high as 55 mph. Snowfall rates may reach 1 to 2 inches per hour.

Travel during morning and evening commutes Thursday and Friday could be difficult due to drifting snow causing near zero visibility.

The NWS says winds could cause some tree damage and isolated power outages.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has directed state agencies to deploy storm response assets in Western New York, Central New York and the North Country.

"As severe winter weather moves across portions of the state tonight and continues into the weekend, I am urging New Yorkers in these areas to be prepared and use caution when driving due to reduced visibility and high winds," Cuomo said Wednesday. "I have directed our state assets to mobilize additional resources in the areas that will be hit hardest, and we will be actively monitoring the conditions and assisting our localpartners as needed."

According to the governor’s office, 54 staff and 22 plow trucks are being deployed to support snow and ice activities in critical areas. Western New York will receive 10 plow operators, two supervisors and five plow trucks from the state’s Southern Tier region.

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