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Schools across New York close ahead of major storm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Most schools across upstate New York are closed or plan to send students home early and airports are cancelling flights ahead of a major storm that's expected to dump a foot or more of snow in some parts of the state.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings from the eastern end of Lake Erie to the Hudson Valley, where forecasters say snowfall totals could top 16 inches by Saturday.

The snow began falling early Friday morning in some upstate areas and is expected to increase throughout the day, with the heaviest accumulations expected in eastern New York later Friday night. Many schools began announcing Thursday that Friday's classes are canceled, while other districts have announced early dismissals.

The state is activating its Emergency Operations Center in Albany to coordinate storm response.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.