Powerful late-winter storm continues to cause problems locally

Mar 15, 2017

Credit Martin Kaufman / WXXI News

(WXXI News & AP) A massive snowstorm is expected to wind down later in the day on Wednesday, but still causing major travel problems.

The powerful nor'easter paralyzed much of the Washington-to-Boston corridor, but fell short of predicted snowfall totals in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. It brought more than a foot of snow to many places in the Rochester area, with 22 inches recorded at the Rochester Airport as of 8am. Several more inches are possible in some spots during the day on Wednesday. The winter storm warning continues until 8pm.

Blowing and drifting snow will be the main issue on Wednesday with gusty winds forecasted and a high near 20.

The storm, which followed a stretch of unusually mild weather, dumped 1 to 2 feet in many other places around the northeast, grounded more than 6,000 flights and knocked out power to nearly a quarter-million customers from Virginia northward.

By the time it reached Massachusetts, it had turned into a blizzard, with near hurricane-force winds gusting to over 70 mph along the coast.

Some of the heaviest snow in New York State included parts of Central New York, and the Southern Tier, with totals expected to top two feet in many places by the time the storm winds down later on Wednesday.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has closed Monroe County Offices on Wednesday and is urging residents to continue avoiding unnecessary travel because of difficult road conditions and to give snowplow operators the opportunity to do their jobs clearing roadways.  

Motorists should continue to use additional caution if travel is necessary and allow for extra commute time.

“Overnight snow has continued to cover Monroe County and create dangerous conditions for motorists. I am closing Monroe County Offices and I am urging drivers to avoid unnecessary travel,” said Dinolfo. “The County’s Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the situation, is in contact with state, city, town, and village officials and will provide additional guidance as warranted.”

Winds are expected to continue in our area which will result in challenges due to blowing, drifting and possible whiteout conditions.

The  travel advisory does not restrict travel. It is, however, a warning to motorists that hazardous driving conditions continue to exist.

Due to the ongoing snowstorm, Rochester City Hall, Neighborhood Service Centers, R-Centers, the Rundel Central Library, City branch libraries and other City administrative offices will be closed on Wednesday. Essential employees only should report to work. Non-essential employees are asked to stay home.

For the greatest measure of safety for all who live and work in the city, Mayor Lovely A. Warren is asking citizens to avoid unnecessary travel. New York State remains under a State of Emergency and Monroe County remains under a travel advisory.

Motorists are advised to strictly observe alternate side and other posted parking regulations to facilitate snow removal efforts. The biggest impediment to clearing snow from city streets are cars that do not follow the alternate side parking regulations. All drivers are encouraged to use caution and to allow for additional travel time.

While the City will be plowing sidewalks, citizens are asked to continue to shovel sidewalks in front of their properties and businesses. Citizens are also asked to help the Fire Department by clearing hydrants of snow.

Residential refuse and recycling collection is delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.

- Ontario County Sheriff now advises "no unnecessary travel" until 8am Thursday..

-A travel advisory remains in effect in Livingston County until 10am on Wed. It doesn't close roads, but it's a note to drivers to use caution.

From Wayne County Sheriff: advisory for No Unnecessary Travel continues until 5am Thursday.

-Many area schools are closed, check the list here.

-All Pittsford Town facilities are closed and programs canceled for Wednesday, March 15: Town Hall, Court, Library, Spiegel Ctr, Senior Ctr.

-Due to the ongoing severe weather, Town of Irondequoit offices will be closed on Wednesday. This includes Town Hall, the Irondequoit Public Library and the Community / Senior Center.  

-Due to severe winter weather and driving conditions, the University of Rochester will operate on a limited basis today—only essential employees should report to work.  Strong Memorial Hospital and its health services affiliates will remain fully operational, and Medical Center employees —whether at Elmwood Avenue or any off-site location—are considered essential staff and are required to report even during severe weather. If Medical Center closings occur, information will be posted for patients on -www.urmc.rochester.edu.

-Eastview, Marketplace and Greece Ridge malls were closed Wed. They will reopen on Thursday.