Area communities prepare for winter storm

Mar. 13—The area prepared for a significant snow storm Monday, March 13.

Otsego County Emergency Services Coordinator Victor Jones said Monday it was "too early yet to know whether or not we will declare a state of emergency," but said, "I have been in contact with the Red Cross and have asked them to begin discussion about the potential need for both the Clark's Sports Center and the Armory in Oneonta as emergency shelters."

Jones said the department would issue media releases if a state of emergency or travel ban is implemented as needed.

Delaware County Emergency Management Director and Fire Coordinator Stephen Hood said his department is closely monitoring the storm. "We've been having daily conference calls both with the National Weather Service and NYS Emergency Management," he said.

Ahead of the storm, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a state of emergency will go into affect at 8 p.m. Monday for Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties.

"New Yorkers should prepare now for a multi-day event that will bring up to three feet of snow in certain parts of the Capital Region and Mid-Hudson region," Hochul said in a media release. "State agencies spent the weekend preparing emergency response assets, my team is in constant contact with local officials, and we have activated the National Guard to assist with emergency response. This storm will create hazardous road conditions through Wednesday morning, and I encourage New Yorkers in impacted regions to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel to allow plow crews to do their job."

Travel restrictions for tandem and empty tractor trailers started Monday at 8 p.m., including using the right lane only on state Route 17 from Middletown to Binghamton.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton issued a winter storm warning for Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties, while the Albany office issued a winter storm warning for Schoharie County from Monday afternoon and lasting until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the Binghamton office, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties could get between 12 and 18 inches of snow, with isolated spots getting 24 inches or more. The Albany office announced Schoharie County could get between 10 and 20 inches with two to three feet in the higher terrain of the eastern Catskills.

New York State Electric & Gas announced it is preparing for heavy snow associated with the winter storm and warned power outages are a possibility.

As a result of the forecast, 500 additional line and tree personnel across the state have mobilized in areas expected to get hit by the storm to assist with restoration efforts if needed, a media release said.

The city of Oneonta reminded residents to move their cars from city streets after 2 1/2 inches of snow falls, so city Department of Public Works crews can plow the streets. According to a media release, tickets start at $100 and cars may be towed so DPW crews can clear the streets. Parking is available in municipal lots and the two lower tiers of the parking garage, the release said.

Oneonta Public Transit announced it was suspending operations for Tuesday, March 14. Oneonta announced Monday its city hall will also be closed Tuesday, March 14, due to the weather.

Schoharie County announced Monday, all county offices will be closed Tuesday, March 14, no senior meals will be delivered and Schoharie County Public Transportation will not operate.

The storm is not expected to break any snowfall records in the area, as other winter snowstorms have occurred on March 13. From March 12-14, 1993, the "Superstorm of 1993" occurred, which dumped more than two feet of snow across the region, and the Great Blizzard of 1888 occurred from March 11-14.

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Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221.