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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 07:28 GMT
More snow hits upstate New York
Residents dig their car out of the snow in Oswego, New York
More snow squalls are on the way, forecasters say
Residents in northern New York state are facing more heavy snowfalls as they struggle to clear up to eight feet (2.4m) of snow.

Forecasters say an additional foot of snow could fall in the next few hours. In some areas, snow has been falling at a rate of 5in (12cm) an hour.

A state of emergency has been declared in and around Oswego county, which has seen more than a week of snow squalls.

Freezing conditions elsewhere in the US were blamed for at least 20 deaths.

'Unusually long'

Emergency crews have been struggling to clear roads in Oswego, where snow squalls have dumped snow by the foot on communities since Sunday.

We catch up when it stops, but then it just comes again, even heavier
Mayor Randy Bateman

On Friday, the squalls shifted south into Syracuse, dropping up to eight inches (20cm) of snow.

But forecasters said there would be heavy snow bands over Oswego County on Saturday and they were likely to be persistent.

Another 6-12in (15-30cm) of snow is forecast, pushing the seven-day total over 100in (254cm).

"Everything is 10 times more difficult; Just getting out of the driveway, going to the store, anything," shop worker Debbie Allers told AP news agency.

The so-called lake-effect snow is caused by the cold air picking up moisture as it moves over the warmer Great Lakes, and depositing it as snow inland.

Meteorologists say the storms in the Lake Ontario area normally last a couple of days, and it is unusual for them to last so long.

Extreme cold weather has also been affecting other north-eastern and central areas of the country.

Deaths linked to the cold have been reported in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Maryland.

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