Storm dumps almost a foot of snow in parts of Bradford County
Local residents were busy Thursday shoveling out from a storm that dumped almost a foot of snow in parts of Bradford County on Wednesday and early Thursday morning.
Elaine Poost of Herrick Township said she couldn't leave her house until 10:30 a.m. Thursday to go to work in Towanda, because she had to wait for a township road that she uses to be cleared.
And on her way to work, she stopped shortly before 11 a.m. at the Bradford Towne Center in Wysox, where she found the Kmart department store, the Tops supermarket, and a bank branch all "pretty deserted," due to the storm, she said.
It was strange to see the stores in the shopping center nearly empty, when they had been "packed" last week with Christmas shoppers, she said.
In Towanda, 33-year-old Chris Goshorn, who works in the natural gas industry, was removing over half a foot of snow from his car.
Goshorn, who comes from Louisiana, said this was "pretty much" his first big snowstorm, although he had experienced snow in Bradford County during the winter of 2010.
"I like the cold. I do," he said. "But I could do without the shoveling."
No serious motor vehicle accidents occurred during the storm in Bradford and Sullivan counties, according to county emergency management officials and the state police.
"There were some slippery roads this morning, and a few minor accidents and cars off the road, but nothing serious that I'm aware of," Bradford County Public safety Director Robert Barnes said early Thursday afternoon.
The National Weather Service reported the following snow accumulations in Bradford County from the storm: 11.5 inches at an elevation of 1,275 feet in Liberty Corners; 10 inches at an elevation of 1,500 feet in Athens; and 8.1 inches on Hatch Mountain in the New Albany area.
Barnes said there was over a foot of snow at his home, which is located outside Waverly, N.Y.
Wayne Vanderpool, a weather observer for the National Weather Service, reported that 8.3 inches of the white stuff accumulated at his weather station in Towanda Township.
The state Department of Transportation had ample advance warning of the storm and had 36 snowplow trucks deployed on 910 lane miles of state routes in Bradford County, said David Thompson, a spokesman for PennDOT District 3-0. Under agreements with local municipalities, PennDOT is also responsible for winter maintenance on 80 additional miles of roadways in Bradford County, Thompson said.
In Sayre, where a snow emergency remained in effect Thursday, plows patrolled the streets well into the afternoon.
A snow emergency in Athens Borough expired at 1 p.m. Thursday, while Waverly lifted its snow emergency declaration Thursday afternoon.
The Waverly Police Department reminded residents that while the emergency was lifted, property owners must continue to shovel their sidewalks. Snow and ice must be removed within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall, officers said.
Crews in Ulster Township were prepared to plow roads after the storm, with the township's equipment ready to tackle the snowfall, said supervisor Dick Farr.
Plowing and road maintenance in the township went smoothly, with the exception of one person becoming stuck during the storm, Farr said.
"We just lucked out, I guess," he said.
Guthrie Clinic locations, including the Sayre campus, opened Thursday but urged patients with appointments to call ahead if they felt weather would make travel difficult or unsafe, according to a release from Guthrie.
"I think there were two or three fender-benders" in Towanda Borough that may have been related to the storm, said Sgt. David Lantz of the Towanda Police Department.
North Towanda Township Code Enforcement Officer Gerald Sheets, who also does road maintenance for the township, said he was clearing and treating roads Wednesday afternoon for people returning home from work.
Then he was out clearing snow from the roads again at 1 a.m. Thursday. He said that by 9:30 a.m. Thursday he and another township worker had gotten all the township roads plowed and treated.
Sheets said Thursday afternoon that there are still roads that have hard-packed snow on them in the township. Because the township doesn't use much salt and relies mainly on cinders to treat the roads, it's difficult to break up the hard-packed snow surface, he explained.
LeRaysville Borough reported no problems since the snowstorm moved in and, according to a borough official, all roads have been cleared. Marty Goodwin is contracted by the borough for snow removal.
"The secondary roads are still pretty slippery but the townships are working hard to get them cleared up as best they can," Goodwin said.
Goodwin also noted that very little precautions were taken for the storm. Only basic preparations were done, such as making sure all trucks and heavy equipment were ready for action in case of snow drifts.
Borough councilman Lee Bechtel was surprised by how well the storm was being handled on Thursday, saying, "So far everything has been going great. I am really surprised. The fire department hasn't even gotten a call since the storm happened."
Rome Borough councilman Guy Abell reported to have about 8 inches of snow in his yard Thursday morning.
The first large snowfall of the year did not take the borough by surprise, Abell said.
"The street maintenance in Rome Borough is taken care of by Rome Township because the borough only actually has three roads that run through it," Abell said.
Abell also explained that the borough pays money to the township for this service.
State Route 187, which passes through Rome, is maintained by the county and Abell was pleased to report no major incidents have been reported due to the storm.
Windham Township also reported no major problems created by the blizzard that started on Wednesday.
"All the roads have been cleaned up," said township supervisor Fred Nichols.
Like many other municipalities, there were no special precautions taken for the storm, Nichols said.
"Yesterday we did basic preparation for the storm by loading all of the trucks up and putting chains on them," Nichols explained.
Nichols said the township does all of its own maintenance on roads through use of township employees.
There were no serious accidents related to the storm in Troy Borough, Troy Police Chief Jarvis Burlingame said.
Canton Mayor John Vineski said there were no serious storm-related problems in the borough.
The roads are "pretty well cleared," he said on Thursday afternoon.
Review staff writers Amanda Renko, Tim Zyla and James Loewenstein contributed to this report.