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Cuomo urges New Yorkers to prepare for heavy rains on Christmas eve

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Moses Kuwema

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday urged New Yorkers to prepare for a weather system expected to move through the state beginning Christmas Eve and bring a mix of heavy rain and high winds to the eastern and southern parts of the state, as well as heavy lake effect snow in Western New York.  

In the Capital, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City and Long Island Regions, flooding may be possible with up to four inches of rain combining with existing snow and snowmelt.  

The storm could also bring potential wind gusts of up to 60 mph to much of downstate which may result in power outages and dangerous travel conditions, especially for high profile vehicles. 

In Western New York, travel conditions could be also difficult with heavy lake effect snow possible with accumulations of more than a foot of snow and wind gusts of up to 35 mph predicted in some areas.

"It appears as if Mother Nature is giving us a mixed bag of weather as a gift this holiday season, with lake effect snow forecast for Western New York, and a potential washout everywhere else," Governor Cuomo said. 

"I have directed our state agencies to prepare emergency response assets and remain in constant coordination with local governments and utility companies to ensure any problems stemming from the storm are addressed immediately. If you plan on traveling, please do so with care and remember to celebrate smart." 

A passing cold front is forecast to bring heavy rain, gusty winds, and the possibility of flooding beginning Thursday evening and continuing through Friday. 

In the Capital, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, and Long Island Regions, 1 to 4 inches of rainfall is expected by the end of the storm on Friday. Additionally, winds in the New York City and Long Island Regions could gust as high as 60 mph during the overnight hours and on Friday. In Western New York, lake effect snowfall amounts ranging from 6 to 12 inches are possible. 

There is also the potential for freezing conditions on the roads on Friday morning as colder air moves in from the west.

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