WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Feet, not inches of lake effect snow piled up across Jefferson County in under twelve hours.

This was as the region was rocked by an early season lake effect snowstorm that stretched across the eastern Lake Ontario region.

The snow in the Watertown area began in the early morning hours on Friday, November 18 and worsened as the day progressed.

Ahead of the storm, many schools in the area closed, as well as Fort Drum. Businesses in the city and surrounding areas also closed early Friday as roads became dangerous.

Residents in Watertown were also out shoveling and plowing Friday afternoon. They said although the North Country is used to snow, this storm took them by surprise.

Bob Sharott has lived in the area for over three decades and he said he hasn’t seen a storm to this magnitude in several years.

“It’s been a few years, especially in November,” he said. “Normally you might get it in December, or you might get it in January or February. But in the middle of November, before Thanksgiving, yeah it’s been a while.”

Because of road conditions, some took to walking to prepare. Trey Paris was out at a nearby grocery store and said he was urging others to avoid going on the roads.

“The roads are covered in ice, on top of the snow and on top of them,” Paris said. “So whenever we would come to a stop, it would take probably a minute or so of me having my foot all the way down on the gas just for the car to start moving forward at all, because of all the ice that was under the snow. It was not pleasant. I thought we were going to get stuck a couple of times.”

The Atkinson Family was also out shoveling in the early afternoon hours with their young son. They said they were excited to experience the snowstorm with him.

“It was completely white,” they said. “I knew we had our work cut out for us today.”

Lake effect snow showers continued throughout Friday night into Saturday morning.

No unnecessary travel advisories will remain active for Jefferson and Lewis counties until the lake effect snow warnings issued by the National Weather Service are lifted.