December 12, 2008


Schools closed, roads slick as storms dumps snow

National Weather Service says about 5 inches of snow fell across the county overnight, today

WinterBob Ellis/staff photographer
Overnight snow did not stop Helen Walker from her morning ritual of walking her two dogs, Nikki and Holly, around the block, shown here walking along Hamlin Street this morning.

Staff Reporter

Snowfall, which began late Thursday night, kept highway crews busy this morning as they worked to clear the slippery roads.
A winter storm that blew in from northeast Pennsylvania early Thursday evening brought almost 5 inches of snow into Cortland County, said Joanne LaBounty of the National Weather Service in Binghamton.
A winter storm warning was in effect until about 10 a.m. this morning. LaBounty added some freezing rain mixed with the snow helped make travel on roads particularly difficult.
Cortland County Highway Superintendent Don Chambers said 14 plow trucks went out to clear the roads across the county at 3:30 this morning. The roads were also treated with salt mixed with calcium chloride, due to the slick conditions.
“It’s difficult when it’s as heavy and wet as it is,” Chambers said this morning.
He described the snowfall as “evenly spread,” that higher elevation areas such as Virgil received not much more snow that the city of Cortland. He added the roads were still slightly dangerous to navigate.
Police reported accidents involving slippery roads Thursday night and this morning, mostly concentrated along Interstate 81.
State Police reported 10 accidents on the Interstate, none of which resulted in any injuries.
According to police reports, drivers lost control due to unsafe speeds while rounding curves on exit ramps or attempting to pass other cars.
All Cortland County area schools were closed today, according to broadcast reports.
Superintendent of Schools Larry Spring said slippery road conditions this morning led him to close schools for the first time this year.
He said the call was made at about 5:45 a.m.
“The roads were reasonably slick this morning,” he said. “The problem for us was the roads in Virgil seemed particularly treacherous when our transportation guys talked with the county highway department.”
LaBounty said scattered snow showers were expected throughout the day, with temperatures in the upper 20s.
She said that although the heavy snowfall is over, scattered flurries and snow showers are expected.
“Don’t rule out snow for tonight and tomorrow,” she said.


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