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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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National Weather Service says light snow/high winds combo led to ‘quite a few accidents’ Monday

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MASSENA - If you were driving to work Monday morning, struggling to make out exactly what the road ahead would bring, with a mist-like fog swirling across your windshield, you were not alone.

The National Weather Service, Burlington, Vt., said that despite the relatively low snow accumulation totals across the county, the wind gusts joining the light snow made for hazardous travel yesterday.

Meteorologist John Geoff said that snow totals were generally in the one to three inch range, with Ogdensburg receiving the highest total at four and a half inches.

“We had gusty winds across the St. Lawrence Valley and the Adirondacks. In both Saranac Lake and Massena, there were 48 miles per hour wind gusts. Potsdam and Waddington was 41 and Ogdensburg was 43 mph,” Mr. Geoff said.

“It did lead to quite a few accidents across the area. That’s the kinds of things you can get with the snow and high winds. While the roads may not be too treacherous, the circumstances can create these problems.”

Sheriff Kevin M. Wells said that the department received more calls than usual on Monday, but given the circumstances the results could have been worse.

“There has been an increase (in calls) but not significant. It’s been mainly phone calls in regards to state Highway 68 being closed earlier (Monday). That was closed earlier, but is back open now,” Mr. Wells said Monday afternoon.

“There’s been more than the normal amount of cars off the road but all in all, there’s been days that were more significant than Monday.) First responders did an excellent job today with going to the scene of accidents and limiting damage,” he said Monday afternoon.

Mr. Geoff said that the snow event Sunday night into Monday originated south of St. Lawrence County, in other areas of New York state.

The meteorologist said that the county may not be out of the woods yet, with cold temperatures and more wind gusts on the horizon.

“We do have a lake effect advisory from mainly the southern part of St. Lawrence County from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday. This calls for 4 to 8 inches. We also have wind chill advisories from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m. (today,)” Mr. Geoff said. “For the St. Lawrence Valley, the advisory is for figures at 20 below zero or lower.

“We could be dealing with another wind chill issue so we may have to reissue the advisory. That would be for (tonight.) In terms of significant snow fall, we are not seeing any more for the end of the week, through Friday.”

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