By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Moments ago, the county Board of Representatives declared Otsego County is in a State of Emergency, echoing Governor Cuomo’s statewide declaration earlier this morning.
County roads are closed to all non-emergency travel so that emergency vehicles have safe passage on the snowy roads.
“We really need people to stay home,” said Rob O’Brien, the county’s 911 director.
Since Winter Storm Stella’s arrival in the wee hours, more than 17 inches of snow have fallen in the county, with as much as 2 inches of snow falling per hour and temperatures hovering at 19 degrees. Oneonta’s David Mattice, a National Weather Service observer, believes that the county could get as much as 30 inches before the day is out.
At 11 a.m., the City of Oneonta closed its roads, and at noon, Mayor Jeff Katz ordered cars off the streets in Cooperstown. Drivers on the road are out at their own risk, said Oneonta Acting Police Chief Douglas Brenner. “Stay home and put on a movie,” he suggested.
And although some stores in the Southside Mall had opened this morning, at noon the mall was formally closed, and post offices from zip codes 137 through 139 – including Oneonta, West Oneonta, Morris, Milford, Mount Vision, Laurens, Portlandville and Colliersville – were shuttered.
Schools, the Huntington Library and City Hall also announced closures, and the scheduled public hearing on the proposed Town of Oneonta volunteer fire department was postponed until April 11.
Instead you hear otherwise, assume what you planned to do isn’t happening.
The state of emergency is in effect until tomorrow morning.