Rain, ice raise havoc locally

Rain water splashes up as a car drives through a puddle in front of 8 E. Fulton St. today. The rain and warmer temperatures are causing water to puddle in roads and ice up sidewalks and parking lots. (The Leader-Herald/Patricia Older)

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County’s roads, cellars, schools and electrical grid today were continuing to deal with winter’s icy grip and wintry conditions playing havoc on the area.

Schools throughout the region were closed, and Regents Week exams were postponed. Residents were experiencing frozen pipes and finding it hard just to walk to their car.

County Emergency Management Office Director Steven Santa Maria said this morning that roads were holding up under the current ice storm.

“Basically, the roads are pretty good, and the secondary roads are a bit treacherous,” he said.

He said there was some “ponding” of water occurring throughout the county, with the temperatures rising.

“Obviously, use caution on the roads,” he advised.

Santa Maria said many basements were being reported flooded, especially in the city of Gloversville and the towns of Mayfield and Johnstown.

He said a couple of power outages were reported in the town of Mayfield and Gloversville, with heavy iced tree limbs coming down on residential power lines. He said some wires were reported down on houses.

Santa Maria also urged county residents to “please” don’t use generators inside their homes if the power goes out, as that can sometimes create a dangerous and even fatal situation. He said more water and ice situations may be on the way in the county in days ahead.

“Unfortunately, the ground is so saturated, we may experience more flooding,” he said.

Throughout Montgomery County there have been several road closings and vehicles off the road due to the wet and icy conditions.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Sager said there were several cars that had gone into a ditch at multiple locations.

This morning in Amsterdam, Upper Steadwell Road near the intersection of Lepper Road was closed due to a vehicle that went into the ditch. The road was reopened as soon as the vehicle was pulled out, Sager said.

When driving on icy roads Sager urged drivers to use caution. He said to leave early to give extra time when getting to a destination and to drive slow.

“It’s like black ice,” Sager said. “You might not see it and then you’re suddenly in a ditch.”

Sager said there hasn’t been any flooding yet in Montgomery County, but if anyone does come across flooded roads, “turn around, don’t drown.”

“If you come across a flooded road, turn around and find a new route,” Sager said.

He said when a road is flooded, it is hard to tell what could be underneath.

He also advises anyone who does see a flooded road to call 911.

By Patricia Older

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