Icy conditions prevail in region

Looking west this morning on Summer Street in Gloversville, icy conditions prevail. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

GLOVERSVILLE — Area residents woke up today to a slippery coating of ice and rain on driveways and streets, and a forecast from the National Weather Service indicates more snow on its way later this week.

“Across the area we saw three-hundredths to three-tenths of flat ice,” NWS Albany forecaster Andrei Evbuoma said this morning. 

He said the area generally didn’t receive too much snow, only about one to two inches in Fulton and Montgomery counties. He said bad weather from Texas, with its “mixed bag of precipitation,” made its way up to the Northeast.

“The storm system that we had was one that came through from the Southern Plains,” Evbuoma stated.

The forecaster said more snow, however, is “preliminarily” set to drop two to five inches by later in the week.

“We’re definitely seeing an active storm system Thursday into Friday afternoon about 1 p.m.,” Evbuoma said.

Gloversville Department of Public Works Director Chris Perry stated today, “We were out all night.” He said each street in the city received salt Monday night.

He said the city made an investment in more equipment in which the DPW crews can plow and salt at the same time.

“That’s really made a difference,” Perry said.

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said today that the ice snuck up on some drivers overnight.

“We did have a few [vehicles] slide off the road,” he said. “It came so fast.”

Giardino said there was “nothing severe” to report on the roads today, and he thinks drivers have handled the winter of 2020-21 “about average” in Fulton County. The sheriff said people realize they live in the Northeast so it’s “not unexpected” to face snow and ice every day of the winter. He also noted how there seems to be a “weather line” that stretches across the western part of Fulton County. He said areas such as the towns of Stratford, Oppenheim and Ephratah will see a foot of snow on a day where the rest of the county will get about an inch or two.

National Grid on Monday issued a news release, warning the public of staying “connected“ with the outside world during these icy and snowy winter days.

The utility stated that it was “increasing evening and overnight staffing and bringing in additional crews in anticipation of the forecasted wintry mix of snow, rain and ice across the Greater Capital Region beginning [Monday night] and continuing through [today]. The bolstered field force includes external resources and will be deployed across the region as necessary if the storm disrupts service to customers. The company will continue to closely monitor the weather and is encouraging customers to keep safety a priority with the following reminders.”

Those reminders included the recommendation that if a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration. Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911. Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shitting off the breaker.

National Grid also reminds home and building owners to be especially cautious as they work to clear snow and ice by following these safety recommendations:

Gas customers should clear snow and ice from gas meters and regulators by gently using a snow brush or broom. Never kick, hit or use sharp objects to remove snow and ice. If a meter and/or regulator is encased in solid ice, call National Grid at 1-800-642-4272.

Gas customers should ensure vents for natural gas appliances are clear of snow and ice. Covered or clogged vents can lead to the build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide. 

Customers who detect an odor of natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home, should go outside immediately and breathe deeply. If CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches or drowsiness, are severe, immediately call 911.

The National Weather Service this morning issued a winter weather advisory through later today for areas that included the Mohawk Valley. Little or no additional sleet accumulations were expected, but area residents were cautioned to be ready for slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions were expected to hamper driving today, with isolated power outages and tree damage that might occur due to icing. 

By Patricia Older