Anticipating the storm: Flights canceled, no travel advised before the storm hitsOfficials in Jamestown battened down the hatches and warned drivers to stay off the roads early as a weather system moves across the region. The Jamestown City Engineer’s Office took the precaution Tuesday morning of issuing a no-travel advisory from Tuesday at 6 p.m. to noon today for Jamestown.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Officials in Jamestown battened down the hatches and warned drivers to stay off the roads early as a weather system moves across the region. The Jamestown City Engineer’s Office took the precaution Tuesday morning of issuing a no-travel advisory from Tuesday at 6 p.m. to noon today for Jamestown.
Flights at Jamestown Regional Airport were also affected with the 9 p.m. Tuesday inbound flight and the 7:15 a.m. Wednesday outbound flight also canceled, according to Matt Leitner, airport manager.
“It’s not looking good for the home team,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. “This system has a wide impact, multi-state, with winds and heavy snow.”
That outlook prompted the early travel advisory.
“Mostly the wind is what we’re worried about,” Schwartzkopf said. “Even an inch or two of snow with 40- to 50-mph winds are going to cause whiteouts.”
Forecasters are anticipating more snow than that.
“Jamestown looks to be on the western edge of snow band,” said Daryl Ritchison, WDAY meteorologist. “There are a couple of different scenarios and 40 or 50 miles could make a big difference, but there is a good chance of 4 to 6 inches of snow in the Jamestown area.”
John Wheeler, WDAY chief meterologist, later downgraded the forecasted snow in this area to a few inches.
Ritchison also expects winds gusting to near 40 mph during the storm.
“When you throw in the wind that makes travel difficult,” he said.
City street crews were still continuing cleanup from the weekend snow when the storm was anticipated Tuesday evening. They planned to stop all snow removal work if weather conditions deteriorated to the point a lack of visibility would cause safety concerns.
Crews remained on standby at the Jamestown Fire Department facility and the city street department shop during the storm.
“If you have an emergency call 911,” Schwartzkopf said. “We will be set up to get to people in an emergency.”
Snow removal efforts will likely resume sometime Wednesday with the exact time dependent upon the weather. The city crews have been facing some manpower issues.
“We’re down some people in the street department due to health,” Schwartzkopf said. “We are having a hard time finding people to keep plowing. We’ve kept the motor graders and loaders running but are short on some of the other equipment.”
Ritchison anticipates a break in the weather after the storm with mild conditions forecast for Thursday, a possibility of light snow on Friday and a dry weekend.
“We are in a more active weather pattern,” he said. “We need to keep an eye on the weather now. There is another storm system next week but right now that looks like it should track to the north of Jamestown.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org