Mohawk Valley hit by ice storm

Published Jan 11, 2017 at 4:10pm

Broad sections of Oneida County and upstate New York are recovering today after an ice storm pummeled the Mohawk Valley and upstate New York, but which mostly missed Rome, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. last night and early this morning.

The National Weather Service reported 40,000 customers, including 12,000 in Buffalo, lost power after high winds collapsed trees on power lines.

Over 10,000 customers across Central New York reported power outages with National Grid listing dozens of power outages across the Mohawk Valley overnight and into the day today at its website www.nationalgrid.com. Outages still being reported throughout the morning.

The hardest hit area in the Mohawk Valley in respect to power loss was the Utica-New Hartford region, which reported 7,347 customers without power at press time. The brunt of the storm missed Rome, with a handfull of power outages reported in the city as well as in adjacent communities, including Western, Lee, Floyd, the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. In Rome and adjacent towns, the outages began at around 11 p.m., according to the National Grid website. Many outages were restored within hours, and most had power restored by 5 a.m. Some areas of the county, including parts of Clinton, Clayville, Barneveld, New Hartford, Boonville, Floyd, Forestport, Holland Patent, Trenton, Western and Oriskany, may not see power restored until as late as 6 p.m.

School districts throughout the area experienced delays, and the Remsen and Adirondack school districts were closed.

“We had between an inch to an inch-and-a-half of snowfall last evening that turned to sleet and then freezing rain, which stopped sometime between midnight and one this morning,” Meteorologist Ray Brady of the National Weather Service’s Binghamton office said. “The snow had come before a warm front, and that’s what caused the freezing to occur.”

The strongest part of the storm missed Rome. Some damage was reported, and two homes reported power outages. Karlen Road was closed because of ice accumulation.

“We weren’t really hit all that bad,” Deputy Fire Chief Mark Kohlbrenner said.

The warm front will bring milder weather to Rome and the Mohawk Valley.

“We can expect temperatures in the 40’s by this afternoon,” Brady said. “The sun will be out, the ice will melt — it will be a good day.”

Kohlbrenner said residents should be careful as they pursue daily activities.

“They should leave early so they may get to their destinations on time. Avoid large puddles, because they will be deeper than they appear,” he said. “And they should be careful when shoveling or using snowblowers. The snow may clog snowblowers, and it will be heavy to shovel.”

Kohlbrenner said he did not expect a high volume of calls associated with freezing rain, including downed power lines or flooded basements.

“There may be some calls later today, but it’s nothing we can’t handle,” Kohlbrenner said.