Travel advisory issued for county, 1,200 without power as snow continues; very cold air coming tonight
Friday, January 13, 2012 - 11:38 am

A travel advisory has been issued by St. Lawrence County authorities and National Grid is responding to more than a thousand reported electric outages, and many schools are closed for a second day today as snow and mixed precipitation are expected to continue to fall today and tonight.

The National Weather Service office in Burlington said that a weather spotter in Ogdensburg has reported a changeover to snow along with hearing tree limbs snapping. The ice that coated the Saint Lawrence Valley yesterday and early this morning, and any buildup of snow on trees and power lines, could lead to more tree limbs downed and power outages. Roads covered in slush will become snow covered and temperatures dropping to about zero tonight will freeze it all up.

After escaping any widespread outages yesterday, electricity distributor National Grid is reporting outages to 1,230 of its 42,787 customers in St. Lawrence County as of 11 a.m., in areas around Ogdensburg, Flackville, the Pyrites and South Russell area south of Canton, Madrid, around Sanfordville and Stockholm Center east of Potsdam, around West Potsdam and Slab City, and in Crary Mills. At the time National Grid had been estimating the problems would be cleared up by 1:30 p.m., but the company now says it is reassessing.

Massena Electric said 80 to 100 of their customers along Plum Brook Road off of Rt. 420 are without power . Other than that, said Dep. Supt. Dale Raymo, they are responding to isolated calls, “all tree-limb related.”

Travel is expected to be tricky, and maybe getting trickier as temperatures fall , and people should take appropriate measures, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the county Office of Emergency Services are warning.

The National Weather Service says that the mix of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain should turn to all snow today, and dropping temperatures will create hazardous driving conditions, exacerbated by increasing winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect through midnight.

Winds will remain strong tonight and the thermometer will dip to about zero, and will rise no higher than about five degrees tomorrow. Winds will diminish and skies will be partly sunny Saturday.

Saturday night could be the coldest of the winter so far, with lows down to minus 15 or 20.

After early tomorrow, no more precipitation is expected until Monday night.

The two county agencies said they issued a travel advisory “to remind motorists to allow adequate travel time and stopping distances as they travel to work and necessary appointments during this winter storm event,” the advisory said.

“The storm event is expected to be with us throughout the day and evening with temperatures dropping. Roads will be snow and slush covered. Please be aware of possible power lines and tree limbs down from the previous day’s ice issues,” the warning said.

In addition, they remind people that state, county and local highway crews will be out working the roads and that motorists should take care “entering and exiting roadways and while meeting oncoming plows.”

They remind homeowners that pushing snow across roadways is illegal.

And they emphasize that motorists should clear snow and ice from their vehicles, should allow enough time for the trip, and to consider visibility factors for stopping and turning.

More detailed forecasts can be found on the NorthCountryNow Weather Page, http://northcountrynow.com/weather.

Delays and cancellations can be found at http://northcountrynow.com/cancellations-delays

A radar map from Intellicast.com is at http://www.intellicast.com/National/Radar/Current.aspx?region=bgm.