Twin Tiers Hit with Flash Freeze, Wind and Ice Jams
The National Weather Service in Binghamton is warning of the potential for sudden, slippery conditions Friday morning, February 18. That could apply to sidewalks, driveways and parking lots in addition to roadways.
In a Special Weather Statement issued at 2:50 a.m. February 18, NOAA says: “a combination of recent rain and rapidly falling temperatures and a wintry mix this morning could produce some icy roads.”
Officials were projecting temperatures that were in the 50s into the early morning hours to plunge into the 20s behind a cold front moving into the region from the west. The 30-degree drop in temperatures could produce patches of black ice. Especially problematic would be areas on roads that have leftover standing water from the Thursday rain that could freeze very quickly.
Wind is also a big issue on slippery roads and for utilities. The National Weather Service had issued a Wind Advisory to last through mid-morning with wind gusts of up to 50 mph possible. That can blow vehicles, especially taller sport utility vehicles and trucks around on already slippery roads.
Wind on ice-coated branches and utility lines can also cause power issues. New York State Electric and Gas at 3 a.m. reported a few hundred customers scattered around the Southern Tier in Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware Counties had power interruptions.
With the warm temperatures February 16 into early February 18, ice jam flooding is also a concern.
The National Weather Service issued a Flood Watch for the region through 7 p.m. February 18. Observers on Thursday, February 17 had reported chunks of ice piled up in some narrow spots along the Susquehanna River in the Town of Union and other narrow points.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday noted the potential for flooding around the state and urged residents in the affected areas to be prepared.
Flood Safety Tips
- Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
- Develop and practice a 'family escape' plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Make an itemized list - as well as potentially photo and video documentation — of all valuables including furnishings, clothing, and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
- Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers
- Plan what to do with your pets.
- Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and emergency cooking equipment available.
- Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
- Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
- Check on your insurance coverage. Homeowners' insurance policies generally do not cover flood damages. Only flood insurance can protect your home against flood damages. You can purchase flood insurance whether or not you live in a mapped flood zone.
For a complete list of weather terms and preparation ideas before during and after a flood, visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at https://www.dhses.ny.gov/flood-safety-tips.
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