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Storm Closes Schools, Knocks Out Power Across NY

CHRIS CAROLA

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) ¿ The season's first major winter storm socked upstate New York with almost a foot of snow on Wednesday, causing one death, hundreds of school closings, accident-delayed commutes and power outages.

The National Weather Service said up to 10 inches fell before tapering off in early afternoon, with the highest totals in the Albany area, the Catskills, Mohawk Valley and Orange County in the Hudson Valley. The weather service said a wind gust of 67 mph was recorded at Dunkirk on Lake Erie.

A collision between a freight train and snow plow at a crossing in the Saratoga County town of Northumberland left one highway worker dead and another injured. Lt. Bill Seibert of the sheriff's department said James Shea, 68, who operated the truck's wing plow, was killed in the 8:45 a.m. crash. Driver Kerry Garnsey was in critical condition at Glens Falls Hospital. A spokesman for Canadian Pacific railroad said the two train operators were not hurt. Seibert didn't know if there was an automatic gate at the crossing.

Accidents also shut down stretches of an interstate highway in Albany and numerous other mishaps caused traffic backups along the Thruway system, mostly involving vehicles that slid off the highway and got stuck in the snow, a dispatcher said.

"We have 600 miles of roadway and we have storms from Buffalo all the way to the New York City area," said the Thruway Authority's Jeremy Lefort.

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