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March 13, 2014

Forecasters: Storm will freeze roads

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The National Weather Service has cautioned area residents of snowfall that could last through today at 8 a.m.

A couple of cancellations Wednesday were reported as a result of the forecast, but emergency dispatchers reported no accidents from the storm by 9 p.m. Wednesday.

In Otsego and Chenango counties, a winter-storm warning remains in effect until today at 8 a.m., the forecast from the National Weather Service at Binghamton said. Precipitation was supposed to change to snow by 5 p.m. Wednesday with snow being heavy at times through the night.

Accumulations could range between six and 14 inches. Temperatures in the lower 30s are forecast today, and are expected to fall into the single digits late that night and winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour. Rapid cooling may cause roads to freeze quickly; travel was hazardous Wednesday night with drifting and blowing snow.

A hazardous weather advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for Delaware County, with rain expected to change to snow between 4 and 9 p.m. Accumulations from 3-7 inches are expected, with other conditions being similar with other area counties.

Otsego County Emergency Services Coordinator Kevin Ritton said at about 4 p.m, he was still waiting to see when the snow would arrive, but said he had reports if it already reaching the northern part of Otsego County. Minor flooding has been reported in isolated cases, but the biggest danger was black ice if the temperature drops too quickly.

Delaware County Emergency Service Director Steve Hood said according to the latest report he was expecting about 6-8 inches in the county. No flooding had been reported.

SUNY Oneonta meteorology professor Jerome Blechman said Wednesday afternoon the center of the storm was just north of Pittsburgh. This was north of where it was expected when the National Weather Service made predictions earlier in the week. That’s always the danger in making advanced forecasts, he said.

This one was very accurate, Blechman said, but a small difference in the path can make a big difference in the outcome.

The storm led the Oneonta City School District to cancel Wednesday evening activities. This included adult education classes. The Board of Education meeting that had been scheduled was postponed until Monday at 7 p.m. in the district office library. Later Wednesday, the school also announced that school and adult education classes today will be canceled.

According to a release from the city of Oneonta with snow expected to arrive, a travel advisory was in effect, which means no unnecessary travel in the city of Oneonta, according to a media release. City crews had been working during the day to get ready and will continue plowing until the storm was over. Residents are reminded that a parking ordinance is in effect when 2½ inches of snow has fallen. This bans parking on city streets until roadways are cleared.

Until then, cars parked on city streets will be ticketed and towed. Information on retrieving vehicles may be received by calling City Police at 432-1111.

City parking lots are available during that time, with parking regulations suspended through 8 a.m. Friday. At that time, the parking lots will be cleared of remaining snow so cars must be removed from the surface parking lots and the top floor of the parking garage.

Residents will be allowed to continue parking in the available parking garage spaces on the first and second floor until 12:00 Noon on Saturday morning.