JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — From Ripley to Randolph, freezing rain paved the way for slick driving, and for some, walking conditions during the day Thursday.
Ice accumulations of around a tenth of an inch in parts of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties made travel difficult early on in the day, with untreated side streets, back roads, sidewalks and parking lots the prime place for black ice to form.
There were several dozen vehicle accidents reported during the early and mid-morning hours. From Route 474 in Clymer, to two simultaneous rollover vehicle accidents on I-86 near Jamestown, travel was tough.
High winds were also a contributing factor to the weather woes, with winds gusting as high as 55 m.p.h. throughout the day, mainly near the Lake Erie shoreline.
Combined with freezing rain, officials fear high winds could bring down tree branches, and potentially cause power outages.
So far most of the outages, reported by National Grid, impacted around 3,300 households mostly in pockets of northern Chautauqua County along Lake Erie and parts of the Town of Ellery northwest of Jamestown as of noon Thursday.
Even after the ice storm winds down on Thursday night, we’re not out of the winter weather woods yet, as Lake Effect Snow is on the horizon for the area this weekend.