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Updates

Lake Effect Snow Warning
Friday, December 15, 2017

Issuing Office: Buffalo
Source: National.Weather.Service

1:31 pm EST, Fri. Dec. 15

... LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 4 PM EST SATURDAY... * WHAT... HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW EXPECTED. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 7 TO 14 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN THE MOST PERSISTENT LAKE SNOWS. * WHERE... CHAUTAUQUA AND CATTARAUGUS COUNTIES. * WHEN... 7 PM TODAY TO 4 PM SATURDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS... WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 45 MPH WILL CAUSE AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. EXPECT SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS IN VISIBILITIES IN FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... HEAVY SNOW WILL FALL IN RELATIVELY NARROW BANDS. IF TRAVELING, BE PREPARED FOR RAPIDLY CHANGING ROAD CONDITIONS AND VISIBILITIES.

 

 

Message from Campus:

The staff in Facilities Services are ready to respond to changing conditions. They will work to keep lots and sidewalks as clear as possible, but always be careful on slippery, snowy surfaces. If conditions require us to delay or cancel classes, you will be notified by text and email, through our social media pages (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @fredoniau), and on the Emergencies and Cancellations page on our website.

The University Police monitor safety and transportation alerts within Chautauqua County and beyond. The closing of the Thruway has been a benchmark for us in canceling classes and activities. That doesn’t mean that if the Thruway is closed, we don’t have classes, as sometimes it is closed for other reasons. But if the Thruway closes, there is a greater likelihood that some people cannot get here, and it causes us to take a close look at canceling classes.

Generally, because we are a residential campus, we want to keep classes and services for students as fully operational as possible. Unlike high schools that actually close for the day due to weather, people live here. SUNY institutions close only at the direction of the Governor and only in rare emergencies. The President does have the authority to cancel classes and campus activities — such as performances, athletic events, meetings, and community events — but many services are essential because so many students live on campus.

Please be mindful of a few important principles:

Safety. Be extra cautious on campus and community roads and walkways. Take your time, and assume that surfaces are slippery. Before driving, clear the snow from your vehicle, and be sure you have plenty of gas for delays and windshield fluid for the salt on the roads. If you’re living off campus, have shovels and salt ready to clear walkways, and allow more time for snow removal, walking, and driving.

Good judgment. Those who live off campus are in the best position to know whether you should be on the roads, given your commute, your experience as a winter driver, your vehicle, and your level of fatigue. Staff members who choose to stay home because of weather must charge accruals, but supervisors should be understanding and supportive of that choice. Turn to friends in town if you need a place to stay. If the floodlights are on at Lanford House (194 Central Avenue), it’s a sign that you’re welcome there if you need a place to warm up, wait out the weather, or stay.

Communication and Preparation. Use the tools available — email, texts, OnCourse, phone — to connect with those you need to if the weather prevents you from meeting face to face. Faculty who need to cancel class should be sure to communicate that to students and their departments as soon as possible. Have a plan in case the weather changes suddenly. As faculty and students prepare for finals week, it’s a good idea to think ahead about electronic alternatives should there be issues next week.

Flexibility and Generosity. When business as usual is disrupted, all of us need to be flexible in our approaches and generous with one another. Please know that although a trace of snow may be on a sidewalk, someone may have shoveled that walk — in the cold — for an hour before. The person who prepared or served your food may have traveled through treacherous weather to get to campus. People may be late because of travel issues. And please consider those with mobility challenges — imagine navigating a wheelchair or crutches through slush!—and show understanding if they don’t venture across campus.

Students, use these days to hunker down, stay inside and get the papers and projects done, and curl up with a good textbook and your notes. Study together to stay warm and avoid the isolation that can sometime happen in inclement weather.

Information released by Chautauqua County officials:


Residents Urged to Use Caution During Winter Conditions

MAYVILLE, N.Y.:--With Chautauqua County expected to receive significant snowfall this week, Chautauqua County Officials are reminding residents to please use caution.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo currently has a Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Southern Erie Counties from Wednesday evening through early Friday morning. Heavy lake effect snow is expected with snow accumulations reaching 10 to 18 inches in the most persistent areas.

“Every year it seems like someone in a hurry is caught in a tragic accident,” said Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County Executive. “I urge all drivers to please use caution during winter conditions and to leave early to provide extra time to get to their final destination.”

“A large percentage of winter driving accidents are related to vehicles traveling at speeds not reasonable for road conditions,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace. “We must give ourselves more time to reach our destination and slow down to avoid accidents. Our first accumulation of snow always results in a rash of traffic accidents.”

Drivers are reminded to:

Clean off all snow and ice from their vehicles by making sure snow and frost is removed from the windshield, windows and side mirrors; compacted snow is removed from the wheel wells; and snow is removed from the headlights and taillights so other drivers can see you.
Reduce their speeds when roads are slick or visibility is reduced;
Turn on their headlights when visibility is low so other drivers can see you;
Postpone or cancel non-essential trips if travel conditions are hazardous;
Update the emergency kit in their vehicles so it includes a shovel, snowbrush, windshield scraper, reflective vest, flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, cell phone charger or battery pack, water, snack food, matches, first aid kit with pocket knife, necessary medications, blankets, tow chain or rope, road salt and sand, booster cables, emergency flares, florescent distress flag, and extra hats, socks and mittens;
Keep parked vehicles off the roadways and shoulders of the road.
Remember to bring a cell phone when traveling so it can be used in case of an emergency;
Call the Sheriff’s Office or other law enforcement agencies to notify them if your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road;
Keep the gas tank at least half full to prevent the fuel line from freezing; and

Make sure their vehicles are properly equipped and ready for winter by:
Making sure it has ample antifreeze and plenty of windshield washer fluid,
Checking windshield wiper blades, headlights, flashing hazard lights, heater and defroster to make sure they are working properly,
Testing the battery to avoid being stranded in the cold with a car that won’t start, and
Making sure tires have adequate tread.

The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities Division of Transportation will also be out plowing and salting county-owned roads.

“While county plow operators are attempting to make our roadways safe, I encourage drivers to please not add to the hazards of wintertime driving,” said George Spanos, Department of Public Facilities Director. “Drivers should always use extra caution near snowplows by reducing their speed and keeping a safe distance.”

Drivers are required to stay at least 200 feet behind a snowplow. If drivers must pass a snowplow, they should use caution as snowplows can create a cloud of snow that can obscure vision and the road conditions in front of the plow will likely be worse.

The Department of Public Facilities also encourages residents to clear snow from around their mailboxes and inspect and, if necessary, replace their mailbox posts to ensure they can withstand winter conditions. Mailboxes physically hit and damaged by snowplows will be repaired, but mailboxes that break from the force of the snow coming off the plow will not be fixed.

In addition, when clearing your driveway, it is unlawful to push or brush snow into the roadway. This creates a dangerous situation for motorists.

“By giving our area plow drivers room to clear the roads, being respectful and patient when we are traveling behind a plow, and using caution during adverse travel conditions, we can all help create a safe winter driving season,” said Gerace.

Significant snowfall and the potential for blowing and drifting snow can also increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is referred to as the silent killer because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating. If snow blocks furnace or hot water tank vents, it can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate indoors. At high levels, this gas can cause suffocation, loss of consciousness, brain damage or death.

“It is important that individuals protect themselves and their families from carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and by making sure furnace and hot water tank vents are not blocked by snow,” said John Griffith, Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services Director. “It is best to keep a three-foot area clear by the vent and intake tubes.”

Portable generators can also be a source of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a portable generator inside a home, basement or any enclosed or semi-enclosed structure. It should be placed outside and away from windows and doors of any nearby building.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning visit online
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