Storm dumps heavy, wet snow on western Vermont

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most areas of Vermont beginning through Wednesday afternoon. Forecasters say several inches of heavy wet snow are falling on most areas of the state. Some areas could also see rain mixing with the snow.

These conditions are causing power outages and make driving conditions hazardous in Addison, Chittenden and Rutland counties especially on backroads. Vermont Emergency Management urges residents to prepare for the storm and use caution during this and other snow events.

If while traveling you get stuck in deep snow, do NOT let your engine idle if your exhaust pipe is buried. Idling with a buried exhaust pipe also risks carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other tips for the road:

o Check road and weather conditions before leaving; visit www.511vt.com or call 511 for this information.

o Avoid traveling unless necessary and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.

o Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with snow tires and winter windshield wiper blades.

o Watch for and expect changing road conditions, black ice, blowing snow, high winds or whiteout conditions can appear when you least expect them to.

o The single most important rule is to drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only.

o Be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra room, extend the following distance from other vehicles ahead.

Residents should use caution when digging out from any snow storm. Excessive snow shoveling can cause a range of health problems, from back injuries to heart attack, if not done in moderation.

Take frequent breaks from shoveling.

Check snow pack on roofs and remove snow if necessary and if it can be done safely to avoid a possible collapse.

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