Syracuse/Rochester/Buffalo, N.Y. - A 50-mile stretch of Interstate 81 north of Syracuse remains closed as heavy snow and winds gusting to 40 mph make driving hazardous.
The highway was ordered shut down last night when Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for more than a dozen upstate counties. The state Department of Transportation says Tuesday morning that I-81 remains closed between Exit 31 at Brewerton, just north of Syracuse, to Exit 45 at Watertown in Jefferson County.
I-81 cuts through the Tug Hill Plateau region near Lake Ontario's eastern end. The National Weather Service says the Tug Hill region could get up to 4 feet of snow by the time the storm subsides on Wednesday.
On the Thruway, state officials have shut down all commercial traffic west of Rochester. Due to the extreme winter conditions state officials will not allow any commercial vehicles west of Exit 46 (Rochester/I-390).
At the far end of the state, part of the previously closed 75-mile stretch of the Thruway from Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border has been reopened.The Thruway is now open through Buffalo to Route 219 / West Seneca. I-90 in both directions remains closed from Exit 55 to the Penn. border.
DOT officials say they will continue to open more of the interstate highways when conditions allow.