WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Highway departments throughout Westchester County are gearing up after the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for the county beginning on Saturday at 6 a.m. and going into Sunday at 6 a.m.
Snow is expected to arrive late in the morning on Saturday and could become heavy at times at night before mixing with sleet and freezing rain.
Snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are possible with a trace of ice, but there is still a good amount of uncertainty as far as possible accumulations, depending on the path of the storm.
The Westchester County government website offers a list of advisories for residents on how best to prepare to prepare for hazardous weather that could include potential power outages or being snowed in at home.
Road conditions are expected to be hazardous on what is considered one of the biggest days of the holiday shopping season.
The county advises motorists to clear snow from vehicle windows and roofs before driving and avoid driving on icy roadways or in heavy snowfall unless absolutely necessary.
Local municipalities will notify residents of parking and driving restrictions for each village, town and city. Pedestrians and motorists should avoid walking or driving behind snow plows and salt spreaders
Joseph Nicoletti, commissioner for the White Plains Department of Public Works, said that while weekend snowstorms are easier to handle, temperatures have been so cold it won't make a difference.
"I'm always concerned," he said, "I've been doing this for 25 years, and I've seen probably 500 snowstorms. You never know whats going to happen."
According to Nicoletti, White Plains has 60 pieces of equipment ready to be deployed, including plows and rock salt spreaders.
They have also taken some preemptive measures.
"We put brine on the streets today for a liquid de-icer as a preamble. It prevents ice from bonding to the road," he said, "All our crews have been scheduled. We have about 125 DPW guys that will come work 16 hour shifts."
Nicoletti advises shoppers to go out early before the storm starts, or later at night, but to avoid midday. Additionally, drivers should allow additional time to drive slowly and cautiously.
"Don't try to be in such a hurry that you have to pass a plow," he said, "Some people jeopardize everyone's safety by passing them then driving onto unplowed roads. It doesn't make sense but I see it all the time."
Thomas Chiaverini, highway superintendent for Somers, said it will be "business as usual."
"We're trying to get everything ready before we leave today," he said, "We did spray salt brine on the majority of the main roads this morning and anti-iced them. We're just checking everything out."
According to Chiaverini, Somers will have 20-25 trucks out on Saturday.
To make things easier for plowers, he recommends avoiding street parking.
"It's easiest when nobody is on the road by us," he said, "We urge people not to park on the roads, and not to throw the snow back in the streets after we plow them."
Frederik Algson, New Rochelle's manager of streets and highways, urges residents to stay off road as much as possible.
"We have 30 trucks that can salt and plow, but the problem is snow may be mixed with freezing rain later in the evening. That is going to pose a big problem. If you're going to go shopping, do it early before it gets really nasty."
Joe Luppino, general foreman of Mount Kisco's highway department, echoed a similar sense of preparedness.
"We're all set to go. All our manpower is readily available and loaded with salt," he said.
Luppino said he expects the village manager to establish no parking on village roads from Saturday night into Sunday morning.
He said weekend and weekday snowstorms pose their own sets of challenges.
"On one hand, during the week there's more traffic, and traffic helps break up snow and keeps it more pliable," he said, "On the other hand, on the weekend it is easier to plow because there is less traffic, but then it's harder to keep snow pliable."
Danny LoPriore contributed to this report.
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