ALBANY (AP) — A soggy mix of snow and rain began spreading around New York today, prompting fears of flooding and power outages.The unusual late season storm, which has already hit the Midwest, was expected to intensify tonight as it tracks up the East Coast. While the storm was expected to cause the most problems in coastal areas, forecasters warned that upstate New York could still see heavy rain or snow."Even inland, there will be significant amounts of rain," said National Weather Service meteorologist George Maglaras.In the North Country 5 to 9 inches of snow is predicted tonight and early Monday with snow continuing through the day Monday. Total snow accumulations are precidicted to be more than a foot and as much as 18 inches in the higher elevations.The Tug Hill Plateau, east of Lake Ontario, and higher elevations of the Adirondack Mountains were forecast to receive a foot to 18 inches of snow. Lower areas were forecast to get a slushy mix by the Monday morning commute, with 1Â½ to 3 inches of rain. Flood watches were up around the Hudson Valley.A snowy, rainy mix was expected to switch to snow around western New York on Sunday night. Areas around Rochester could receive up to a foot of snow.The precipitation will be coupled with heavy winds in many areas.National Grid spokesman Stephen Brady said the utility is tracking the storm to see where crews will need to be dispatched. They expect to move out some crews later Sunday, when it becomes clearer which areas will be the hardest hit."We will try to preposition some crews," Brady said.Upstate New York's major airports were operating at midday, though flights to and from storm-struck cities were affected. Though skies were still clear in Rochester on Sunday afternoon, Rochester International Airport called in snow crews to handle the heavy snow expected to begin after sunset.Airport director David Damelio said his crews would be able to handle whatever comes. But with seven flights already canceled, he worried that planes might not arrive Sunday from hubs in New York City and Philadelphia. Those planes are needed for departing flights Monday morning."It's going to be an interesting 24 hours for us," he said.
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