Local officials are urging residents in Lower Bucks to use caution as a forecasted snow storm looms over the horizon.

The National Weather Service is predicting 5 to 9 inches of snow starting Wednesday afternoon. Forecasts indicate this will continue with sleet overnight and into Thursday morning. Additionally, wind gusts could hit 35 miles per hour.

Several municipalities including Bensalem, Falls Township, and Langhorne Borough have declared snow emergencies. These declarations will generally go into effect late Wednesday morning and continue through Thursday evening, depending on municipality.

With these emergencies come certain policies. Overall, this means making sure vehicles are off the road and in driveways.

In Middletown Township, vehicles must be off roadways one hour after the start of the storm. Meantime in Falls, this policy begins at the start of the emergency declaration at noon Wednesday. Residents should check their local regulations.

These policies apply to all cars, trucks, trailers, boats, and more. Snow plows will be clearing roads during and after the storm. Plowing will be less effective and more difficult if vehicles are still in the roads.

“Failure to comply can result in a ticket and/or towing, and we thank you in advance for your cooperation,” noted Falls Township Fire Marshal’s Office.

Bensalem Director of Public Safety Fred Harran urges people to not drive unless absolutely necessary once the snow starts.

“Public safety becomes very busy during these snow storms. It also takes us a lot longer to get to places,” said Harran. “So if you do not have to get out on the road, stay off the road.”

Harran also assured residents public works will be standing by in case of any downed wires.

Residents also have 24 hours after the storm ends to clear the snow from sidewalks in most municipalities.

The exact amount of expected precipitation may fluctuate up until and into the beginning of the storm. Check the National Weather Service here for the most up-to-date forecast.