BINGHAMTON—New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas and Electric are preparing for high winds associated with the winter storm that is expected to move across New York State today. As a result of the forecast, the companies have pre-staged additional line and tree personnel across the state to assist with restoration efforts, if needed. The storm has the potential to impact all of NYSEG and RG&E’s service areas, which includes the Western New York, Rochester, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, North Country, Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Westchester regions.
Current forecasts call for wind gusts potentially reaching 60 miles per hour in two stages on Friday and Saturday, as well as snow and ice, to begin late Thursday in Western New York and then move east across the state. The wind, ice, and snow have the potential to bring down trees and limbs, causing damage to overhead power lines and other electrical equipment. The companies urge customers to monitor local forecasts and prepare for the possibility of service interruptions.
Bundled up against single-digit temperatures, David Lamb, above, snowblows his mom Celia’s driveway on Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, as dusk neared this afternoon. While clearing roads was done for the day, Otsego Town Highway Supt. Bill Hribar Sr. said, “We’re going to have wind tonight and will start plowing again in the morning.” Though Winter Storm Harper didn’t deliver the 20-30 inches of snow the county expected, the National Weather Service is predicting strong winds and 35 mph gusts through tomorrow. During the day, temperatures dropped from the 20s into the single digits by dusk, with the late afternoon cold evident in Brian Clancy’s icy beard, inset photo. (He was snowplowing a driveway on Elm Street, Cooperstown, with son Stephen.) The Weather Service issued a wind-chill warning, and Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said it could feel as low as minus-30 overnight. (AllOTSEGO.com photos)
Editor’s Note: Libby Cudmore, Jennifer Hill, Jim Kevlin and Pat Wager contributed to this article.
Everyone is ready for Winter Storm Harper.
“Whatever it decides to do and whenever it decides to come, we will be ready for it,” said Rich Brimmer, Otsego County deputy highway superintendent. “We spent the day yesterday making sure all the plows are ready to go and all the snowplow operators are on stand-by.”
Brimmer says the county has 16 plows ready and drivers on standby. “Each driver has an assigned beat,” he said. “It takes a driver two to three hours to clear one beat, depending on the amount of snow and how many intersections that have to be cleared on the route.”
A “No Unnecessary Travel” advisory remains in place for the county until 6 p.m. tomorrow, and City of Oneonta residents are advised that they cannot park on the street after 2 1/2 inches of snowfall. In Cooperstown, on-street parking is also prohibited, but cars may be parked in the Doubleday Field lot.
ONEONTA – As much as 20 inches of snow could fall on Otsego County this weekend, according to Accuweather.
The strong snowstorm is predicted to start in the Midwest and sweep up central Pennsylvania and into central New York by Thursday or Friday. Though snow will start on Friday and continue on Saturday, the majority of the snow will fall on Sunday. Snow is also predicted through the rest of next week.
Weather services such as weather.com are cautioning that predictions could change, with the snowstorm not being as severe as currently predicted.
COOPERSTOWN – 63 households in Pittsfield and 103 across the county are without power following last night’s snowstorm, according to NYSEG.
Six inches of snow fell in the Richfield Springs area, with temperatures currently around 32 degrees. In Jordanville, all 38 NYSEG customers are without power. In Cooperstown, five households remain without power, and in Springfield Center, 10 homes.
It may have a surprise, but it shouldn’t have been, according to National Weather Service weather Dave Mattice of Oneonta.
Mid-November snows are not unusual, he said a few minutes ago, just as Cooperstown DPW chief Mitch Hotaling declared the village snow emergency, originally due to last until this evening, at an end.
“This is definitely not the most snow we’ve had in November,” said Mattice. “I remember a Thanksgiving snow, riding a snowmobile up Chestnut Street all the way to East Street.”
If anything, Otsego County got it easy in the overnight storm. “We were spared,” Mattice said. “Hancock got 12-13 inches. I only got 5 inches” at his Oneonta home. In Cooperstown, it appeared 6-8 inches had fallen.