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Winter Storm Cleanup Begins In Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley

Lucas Willard

Some of the areas hit hardest by the winter storm were the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief has updates from a few communities still digging out from knee-deep snow.

Earlier this week, forecasts called for New York City and Long Island to be hardest hit by the winter storm.

But it was areas of upstate New York that got hit with more than two feet of snow.

Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared in Binghamton Wednesday and said the snow removal equipment that had done its work downstate would be headed to Broome County and the Southern Tier to assist.

“So we are now re-deploying assets from Long Island and New York City, which are basically in good shape, to other parts upstate that need help. Broome County, Southern Tier, was one of the most severely hit by this storm. So we’re in the process of bringing in more National Guard and more state assets,” said Cuomo.

The governor said 100 additional plows and 100 National Guard troops would be sent to assist Broome County.

A county-wide travel ban was lifted at noon Wednesday.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said a travel advisory would remain in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday.

“Please continue to limit your travel and allow our DPW crews to continue clearing our roadways. I’d like to also say a lot of people are walking in the roads. So if you do need to walk in the roads wear light-colored clothing so we can keep everybody safe,” said Garnar.

About 60 miles northeast, Oneonta was also buried in snow. A parking ban remains in effect until further notice as crews work to remove more than 30 inches of snow, said Mayor Gary Herzig.

“We need to remove snow from the sides of the street. In some cases we’re talking about little more than one lane. In other cases it’s causing a view obstruction. So we need to work on trying to remove snow from sides of the roads and we can’t do it if cars are parked there,” said Herzig.

Herzig said snow removal could take several days.

Much of the Mohawk Valley was also covered in at least two feet of snow. Rick Sager, Deputy Director of Montgomery County Emergency Management, credited the county-wide travel ban with helping to keep roads clear and safe.

“The travel ban worked fantastic. People really paid attention to what we asked them to do and I think that helped a lot in keeping the roads clear. Snow plows didn’t have to work around cars in the ditch or traffic in front of them and behind them. Those guys were able to just get out there and do their job,” said Sager.

Several communities are putting parking restrictions in place for tonight and tomorrow.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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