WESTERN NEW YORK – With heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures forecasted for this weekend, officials are reminding motorists to use caution while traveling county and city roads.
“I want to remind drivers they should slow down and use caution when traveling slick or snow covered roads during winter,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone. “It is always best to plan ahead and account for extra travel time if you absolutely must drive during adverse weather conditions.”
Quattrone reminds residents of the following:
- Postpone or cancel non-essential trips if travel conditions are hazardous and obey travel bans;
- Clean off all snow and ice from their vehicles by making sure snow and frost is removed from the windshield, windows and side mirrors; compacted snow is removed from the wheel wells; and snow is removed from the headlights and taillights so other drivers can see you.
- Reduce their speeds when roads are slick or visibility is reduced and turn on their headlights so other drivers can see you;
- Keep parked vehicles off the roadways and shoulders of the road.
- Remember to bring a cell phone when travelling so it can be used in case of an emergency;
- Call the Sheriff’s Office or other law enforcement agencies to notify them if your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road;
- Keep the gas tank at least half full to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities Division of Transportation will also be out plowing and salting county-owned roads.
In an interview Friday morning with WNYNewsNow, Brad Bentley, Chautauqua County Director of Public Facilities said that county crews are always at the ready. In the event of extreme weather on the weekend manpower will be called in to assist.
“The way we are set up, we run Monday through Friday, three eight-hour shifts, so we have 24-hour coverage, and on the weekend the guys know they are on call anytime the snow comes in,” said Bentley. “This weekend is much like winter in Chautauqua County, we are always ready.”
Bentley said unlike some towns, villages and cities, county trucks only carry a salt mixture to treat county roadways. He said drivers use an automated system to determine how much of the mixture is laid down.
“Plowing is our preferred method,” said Bentley. “When we get the volume of snow that is predicted this weekend, we plow first, but to prevent the snow from getting hard packed on to the roadway we put salt down.”