News of Otsego County

Winter Storm Stella

Harrison, Mattice Honored For Storm Stella Service

Harrison, Mattice

Given Key To The City

Mayor Gary Herzig, center, stands with City Engineer Greg Mattice, left, and Public Service Supervisor Larry Harrison, right, who were each awarded a Key to the City for their tireless efforts in keeping the city safe during Winter Storm Stella. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – For their tireless efforts in clearing Oneonta streets and sidewalks during Winter Storm Stella, Mayor Gary Herzig awarded Public Service Superintendent Larry Harrison and City Engineer Greg Mattice each with a Key to the City during Common Council this evening.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that DPW and the city engineer did,” said Herzig. “They provided exceptional public service to the people of Oneonta. I’ve had emails, phone calls and letters thanking us for a job well done, but the real congratulations go to the people who’ve worked so hard.”

As Stella raged over Otsego County on Tuesday, March 15, dumping as much as two inches of a snow an hour, Harrison’s crew of 11 worked a 14 hour shift to clear the streets for emergency crews.

Farmers Reach Out After Barn Collapse


Farmers Reach Out

After Barn Collapse

Cherry Valley farmer Howard Young this morning examines his Coverall barn, most of which collapsed during Winter Storm Stella. (Jim Kevlin/

Howard Young Aims To Rebuild

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Howard Young calms his herd. “Cows are creatures of habit,” he said. “But they bounce back quickly.”

CHERRY VALLEY – Still reeling from the collapse of 320 feet of his 620-foot Coverall barn – and the death of 20 cows – in Tuesday’s “Storm of the Century,” farmer Howard Young is starting to look ahead.

He’d been working again since 1 a.m. when he was interviewed on site at 11:30 today, but he was particularly thankful to the farming community for reaching out to him in his crisis.

Roy and Ray Dykeman, who lease the Richard Kersmanc farm on Route 36, Worcester, are boarding 200 of the surviving 350 cows, mostly Holsteins, and Kevin Olivera is boarding another 50 in Little Falls.

25, 24, 23, 22…

25, 24, 23, 22…

The countdown is on to 6 p.m., when the County of Otsego is lifting its travel ban resulting from Winter Storm Stella. This was deserted Main Street, Cooperstown, at 5 p.m. (Jim Kevlin/
‘At This Time,’ County Ban In Force Until 6 p.m. Today

‘At This Time,’  County Ban

In Force Until 6 p.m. Today

Cooperstown’s Clayton Truax navigates his snow blower through a sea of drifts on Delaware Street this morning, digging out from Stella, a record-breaking lady. (Jim Kevlin/
Rachel Torrance makes the way clear for customers willing to brave the weather for the special brews at Cooperstown’s Stagecoach Coffee.

COOPERSTOWN – “At this time,” the state of emergency and travel ban for Otsego County remains in effect until 6 p.m. today, according to the county Office of Emergency Services.

“Even though this ban me be viewed as an inconvenience for many, it is necesssary to allow for roads to be in the best shape possible to facilitate safe travel,” the office said in a press release.  “Our primary focus remains the safety of our residents and visitors to the county.”

State of Emergency Lifted in Oneonta

State of Emergency

Lifted in Oneonta

Travel Ban Still in Place For County

ONEONTA – Though the snow emergency has been lifted for the City of Oneonta, Mayor Gary Herzig is still advising caution when traveling  the snowy streets.

“There are many pedestrians in the roads and visibility is restricted due to the large amount of snow lining the streets,” he said. “Drivers and pedestrians alike should use extreme caution.  Let’s all work together to get through this storm safely.”




Aaron Macken, front, and Daniel Norton, work in waist high snow to clear a sidewalk in front of one of the United Student Rentals on Chestnut Street. Normally, they would use a snow blower, but the snow is so deep it wouldn’t work, so they had to clear it by hand! (Ian Austin/
The snow has piled high on a bench alongside Cooperstown’s  Railroad Avenue. (Jim Kevlin/

ONEONTA – Though Otsego County is now on the “back side” of Winter Storm Stella, as much as 3 inches of snow could fall overnight and into tomorrow, according to David Mattice, Oneonta’s National Weather Service observer.

“The front side of the storm is pulling away to the northeast towards Maine, so it’s getting less intense,” said Mattice. “But the wind will change direction, and we could see another few inches before all is said and done.”

As of 7 p.m., over 30 inches of snow had piled up. The State of Emergency and the roads will be open at 6 a.m. tomorrow, but the Winter Storm Warning will remain in effect until 8 p.m. tomorrow. Oneonta Public Transit will resume service at noon.

State of Emergency Declared For Otsego

State of Emergency

Declared In County

Kevin Johnson, Michelle Kearney and Izzy Martinez, all of Oneonta, work at getting their car unstuck from a snow bank on Oneonta’s Market Street after trying to get into a parking lot. After an hour of digging, pushing and some help from some passing residents, they made it into the parking garage. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE  • Special to

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.

Snow Day Oneonta

Snow Day Oneonta!

Schools, City Hall Closed As Storm Stella Blankets State

ONEONTA – With schools, the Huntington Library and City Hall closed, Oneonta has effectively taken a snow day for Winter Storm Stella.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency for all 62 counties in New York, and locally, Mayor Gary Herzig has asked all residents to avoid any unnecessary travel. “To protect the safety of all, Oneonta residents should stay home on Tuesday unless travel is essential,” he wrote in a release. “The City is prepared to clear our roads; however, conditions may be treacherous. Please stay tuned to local media for the potential of road closings. All persons should also exercise extreme care and err on the side of caution when shoveling or otherwise removing snow.”

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