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Erie County officials kept up their message this afternoon that people should stay home if they are able and reminded the public that today’s storm is now a blizzard.

“This weather event is going to be increasingly worse,” said Sheriff Department Capt. Scott Patronik. “Find a safe place to be.”

A travel advisory is in place, though the county has not declared a state of emergency and no major roads are closed, said County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz during a 1:30 p.m. storm briefing.

The heaviest snow bands will drop two inches of snow an hour, which will be more than plows will be able to keep pace with, county officials said, adding that even plow drivers can be victims of poor visibility due to blowing and drifting snow.

“It won’t take much to find yourself in a ditch,” Poloncarz said.

And while the snow continues to fall, Poloncarz warned that the winds that toss the snow and create blinding conditions will create more problems for motorists than the snow accumulation.

“If you don’t have to be on the road, be off the road,” said Daniel Neaverth Jr., county commissioner of emergency services.

Dr. Gale Burstein, county health commissioner, reminded parents of infants to dress them in layers and to avoid putting them to bed with blankets. Infants should be placed on their back and they should be alone in their crib when sleeping, she said.

As for keeping the house warm, residents should avoid using the stove or range, she said.

“Try to use common sense,” she said.

email: jterreri@buffnews.com