Travel bans lifted, but driving conditions still hazardous | Public Service News

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Watertown — Travel bans in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties have all been lifted, but northern driving conditions remain dangerous due to winter storms.

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Jefferson County lifted the travel ban Monday morning, announced in an email from the county sheriff’s office. Instead of an outright ban, a recommendation to “avoid non-essential travel” was issued.

“Blizzards, drifting snow and tall snowdrifts will continue to obstruct visibility, and ongoing cleanup and restoration work will pose additional hazards to drivers,” the release said.

Portions of Route 12 and Routes 37 and 68 were closed Saturday in St. Lawrence County, issuing a travel ban.Photo credit: St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

St. Lawrence County will allow travel bans for Waddington, Madrid, Lisbon, Oswegatchie, Depeyster, Macomb, Hammond and Rossy to expire at noon on Christmas Day, with a “non-essential travel ban” that expires at 8 p.m. ” also issued a recommendation. On Christmas Eve morning, the Lewis County travel ban was lifted.

Monday saw better weather than the weekend in most of the north. But in the city of Watertown, snow continued to fall on Monday morning, adding a few more inches to the already feet-high drifts and poles.

According to Joseph D. Plummer, Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Management Officer, Monday’s snow was primarily concentrated in Watertown and northern Jefferson County, with the band moving northward to Watertown, Clayton, and New York. We headed south across the St. Lawrence River, through Alexandria Bay, Gouverneur. Ontario. Southern Jefferson and Lewis counties saw very little snow on Monday.

Plummer said decontamination work has begun throughout Jefferson County, and things are going as smoothly as ever.

“Road workers are on the ground doing their job and getting the job done,” he said. “Obviously people are doing their own cleanup, so it’s a good idea to be careful there.”

Travel ban lifted but NNY roads still dangerous

Snow conditions on Washington Street in Watertown around 9:30 pm on Friday.Alec Johnson/Watertown Daily Times

Plummer said shoveling snow can be a very physically demanding job, especially given the amount of snow on the ground after this storm. One, even a healthy person, was fully aware of how he felt while shoveling snow, and said he needed to take extra steps to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures. .

He said he was aware of no fatalities in Jefferson County as of Monday morning.

Cleanup is an important undertaking, but one bit unfamiliar to the northern country, and the infrastructure to clear roads and protect property is progressing predictably. It was assisting county, town, and city highway crews.

A storm suddenly broke in on Friday, and the situation worsened literally by the second around noon, trapping many motorists on county roads. Plummer said he couldn’t even guess how many people were stranded on the road over the weekend, but law enforcement and emergency services worked hard throughout the weekend to reach and keep them safe. was working.

“This has made the 911 center very busy,” he said. “We have over 500 complaints logged into our system every day. That’s all we deal with throughout the day, most of them storm related. A day totals about 220 to 250 complaints.”

Travel ban lifted but NNY roads still dangerous

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office used UTVs to locate and assist stranded drivers.Photo credit: St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

Plummer said it’s difficult to compare one storm to another, especially since technology has changed so much. Some people listened to the historic 1977 blizzard as this storm reached blizzard levels in wind speed and snowfall.

“Frankly, we are better prepared than ever because we have better technology that tells us when it will snow, how much to expect, the wind and everything,” he said.

Plummer said snow removal operations are continuing and crews are on standby for the remaining snow that is expected to hit Watertown Monday night.

“The dedication of first responders, including our 911 dispatchers, should be recognized by all,” he said. “Those people also came to the house, answered the phone and dispatched people, left the house to control the chaos as much as possible. It doesn’t take away firefighters, law enforcement, and EMS who are fighting the storm directly, but these first responders aren’t going anywhere without dispatchers.”

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