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February 19, 2014

How cold was it?

Officials: Winter colder and snowier than usual.

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — For anyone feeling that this winter is colder and snowier than average, area weather experts offer statistical proof, in most locations. 

A total of 90.3 inches of snow has fallen in Cooperstown since Dec. 1, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton. The average for that period is 82.4 inches, Ron Murphy, a meteorologist there said. Samantha Borisoff, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center said the average temperature at the location since December was 20.7 degrees - the normal is 23 degrees.

The same is true in Maryland. Snowfall was 83.4 inches and the average was 79.1 inches. The average temperature there was 20-degrees, which was below the average of 23.1 degrees, officials said.

Opportunities for Otsego Chief Executive Officer Daniel Maskin said with the colder temperatures, “we’re getting a lot of requests for heating assistance.”

 When it gets this cold, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, such as frozen pipes, he said. The state has done a good job in expediting services at its website. After a request is made, a determination will be made whether a face-to-face interview is needed, he said.

Several people at the Oneonta Stewart’s Shop offered varying opinions on the winter.

“It’s been colder than in the past few years,” said Christine McCoy, 37, of Otego. But she doesn’t mind that and more snow because, “I like the winter.” 

It’s been nine years since Gina Hassick, 55, moved here from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

 “This is the worst I’ve seen it,” said Hassick.

“It’s just another winter,” said Bill Gilbert, 68, of Frankfort. 

His friend, Patrick Peck, 60, of Laurens said, “It’s what we used to have. I remember it a lot colder, with a lot more snow.”

Walton has had less snow this year, but has also experienced colder temperatures.

 The snowfall total in Walton was below average, at 80.1 inches - almost 8 inches less than usual. The temperature was 19.2, almost five degrees below average.

Delaware Opportunities Executive Director John Eberhard said because of the colder temperatures, “We have had more requests for heating assistance than in the past.” 

Not only have people had to burn more fuel, but there are less state and federal funds available to help, he said. There is some emergency county funding, and a fuel program for Delhi-area assistance to help out, he said. The agency has given out more winter coats than usual as well, he said.