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North country health clinics, roads closed due to lake effect storm

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The National Weather Service’s lake-effect snow warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday and a state of emergency has been issued for Jefferson and Lewis counties by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The region could get an additional 10 to 20 inches of snow overnight and then another 3 to 6 inches Wednesday.

According to the state Department of Transportation, Interstate 81 remains closed tonight from Mexico, N.Y. all the way up to the Canadian border.

Trooper Warren Johnson with state police in Watertown said some exits have been blocked but not all of them, and there is some traffic on the highway despite the closure. Because of this, a move to change the closure to a “hard closure” was made this evening, said Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Management Director Joseph D. Plummer. State troopers are currently working to actively remove all vehicles, expect for emergency personnel and road maintenance, from the roadway.

Both Jefferson and Lewis counties’ sheriff’s departments have issued a “no unnecessary travel” advisory due to hazardous driving conditions.

A portion of Route 12 — between Route 26 in Lowville and Mechanic Street in Harrisburg — also has been closed to traffic due to an accident and road conditions.

The village of West Carthage declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon — prohibiting vehicle traffic and parking along all village roads.

Emergency shelters have been opened at the fire halls in Adams, West Carthage, Carthage, the town of Watertown and Natural Bridge.

Due to the lake-effect storm, Samaritan Keep Nursing Home’s Adult Day Care Program in Watertown and the Samaritan Family Health Center in Lacona are closed today.

Clayton’s town and village courts are closed and Jefferson County District Attorney cases there have been rescheduled to Feb. 4.

West Carthage Village Court also will not convene tonight.

Several other north country organizations and businesses were also forced to close because of the inclement weather:

n Carthage Area Hospital Medical Center, its Pediatric Clinic, Surgical Center, Tri-County Orthopedics, Women’s Way to Wellness program and the hospital’s Adams Community Health Center.

n Carthage Free Library.

n Carthage Community Dental Clinic. n Carthage Therapy Services.

n Evans Mills Family Health Center.

n Flower Memorial Library in Watertown.

n All branch locations of the Northern Credit Union.

n Children’s Home of Jefferson County’s foster parenting program and its session scheduled for tonight.

n Watertown Lyric Theater has postponed SPAMALOT auditions scheduled for tonight to Wednesday and Thursday at the Black River Valley Club.

n Watertown City Hall and the Watertown Municipal Arena closed early and are scheduled to be open regular hours Wednesday.

National Weather Service: http://wdt.me/Dzs7pV

NYS Department of Transportation: http://511ny.org/mapview.aspx

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