WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 16, 2007) - About 100 troops from the New York Army National Guard are assisting in snow removal in upstate New York, where winter storms have left more than 10 feet of snow in some areas over the past two weeks.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer activated elements of the New York Army National Guard Feb. 13 to assist in the massive snow removal operations in Oswego County and other missions as needed in advance of a major winter storm that was forecast to last through yesterday. Lake-effect snow already had buried the area in a series of storms that began Feb. 2.

Most of the roads in the area are clear today, and the National Guard troops are focusing on removing large deposits of snow from key areas, such as municipal buildings, fire departments and hospitals, said Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, state public affairs officer.

The task force has bucket loaders, dump trucks, Humvees and other support vehicles for the mission, he said.

"While the county and local highway departments and the State Department of Transportation have done an outstanding job keeping the roads open and clear in Oswego County, they will need additional help in combating the additional snow forecast over the next 24 to 36 hours," Spitzer said in a news release Feb. 13. "The New York Army National Guard will be a tremendous resource as the state deals with the affects of the storm."

On Feb. 8, the governor declared a state disaster emergency for Oswego County and contiguous areas that have been battered by lake-effect snows. As part of his executive order, the governor directed the implementation of the state disaster preparedness plan and ordered state agencies to provide all assistance possible to local governments there.

(Sgt. Sara Wood writes for the American Forces Press Service.)