County lifts travel advisory as storm weakens

Dunkirk High School, above, and Fredonia schools were the only districts open in the north county.

Traveler’s advisories were lifted for both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties this afternoon as the snowstorm that hit our region began weakening.

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, in an e-mail, earlier today advised “no unnecessary travel throughout the county due to weather conditions. Individuals who are traveling are advised to slow down and use extreme caution.”

That advisory, however, was lifted by the county at 2 p.m. In making the announcement, the executive’s office noted Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities crews will continue to be out plowing the roads and drivers are still encouraged to use caution as winter conditions still persist. Drivers should be especially aware of blowing and drifting snow.

In Cattaraugus County, deputies urged drivers to use caution. “Roads are covered with several inches of snow in most locations and some roads are impassable in spots with blowing snow reducing visibility in many areas.”

The advisory there was lifted at 1:50 p.m.

In addition, the eastbound lane of Interstate 86 was closed due to a disabled tractor-trailer. The semi was cleared by 9:30 a.m., and the interstate was reopened to traffic.

Schools throughout the region were closed with the exception of the largest two districts in the north county — Dunkirk and Fredonia. This led to some questioning the decision on the OBSERVER Facebook page. The OBSERVER was attempting to contact the open schools to find out the reason for their decision.

As of 9 this morning, according to National Weather Service spotters, Perrysburg reported 28 inches and Cattaraugus had 20 inches. Other reports from the area included: Forestville, 11 inches; Fredonia, 7.8 inches; Silver Creek, 4.5 inches; and Dunkirk, 1.5 inches.

Here is an earlier report from Facebook on the school closings: