TWIN TIERS, N.Y. (WENY) -- People in the Twin Tiers are experiencing the effects of the nationwide, winter storm with high winds, reduced visibility, and frigid temperatures. Chemung County Sheriff William Schrom wants people to be weather aware on the roads over the holiday weekend. 

“What we always encourage stay off the roads, if at all possible,” he said. “Unfortunately, we're just a couple of days away from Christmas and I think a lot of people are certainly traveling to get to their loved ones' houses and you've got people doing last-minute shopping.”  

Sheriff Schrom said his police department has had a busy day, with non-stop calls involving road accidents due to the winter storm conditions. With only a few days left before Christmas Day, he advises people to slow down if they feel inclined to travel. 

“Take a little, extra time...don't rush with getting to where you're going, allow space between you and other drivers in case somebody does lose control,” he said. “People just need to be patient and take as much time as they can...that's probably the biggest thing.”  

Schrom said he is also concerned about white outs on the road, due to high winds. He added, rural residents are experiencing problems with snow blowing and drifting. 

“Large fields or areas that don't have other things that are blocking that's just blowing huge amounts of white snow, which certainly impacts your visibility on the road and certainly creates problems on the roadway because the snow piles up and drifts,” he said.  

If you decide you need to travel and drive, there are a few tips to keep in mind before driving in a winter storm. Schrom said people should dress warm, keep a blanket in the trunk, and pack a phone charger to contact help if you get stuck. 

“You always want to make sure you have a full tank of gas,” he said. “It's so important because if you do find yourself stranded, the last thing you want to run out of gas where you can't keep the car running and keep yourself warm.”