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Taking storm in stride

Locals stock up, hope for best as snow blankets area

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Mike Sickmon, of Cortland, commutes on his bike through the snow today on Union Street in Cortland.

Some people went out Thursday to pick up some groceries or rent some movies. It was all in the anticipation of a storm expected to dump anywhere from 7 to 17 inches of snow across portions of the state, including Cortland County.

At the Local Food Market on North Main Street in Cortland people had been in and out talking about the storm and stocking up.

However, the shelves still looked fully stocked. People weren’t scurrying to grab what they could, some weren’t even too concerned with the forecast.

This isn’t the South. People here are used to a bit of snow.

Dyan Lombardi of Groton was picking up some groceries, not really in preparation for the storm, but to go along with her ketogenic diet and have options available. One item she was getting was a non-chemical sweetener to replace honey. However, Lombardi was not concerned about the storm. “I’ll stay in,” she said.

Lombardi’s quilting group meets every Friday. The people in the group had been talking about the storm.

Lombardi, who is retired, said her attitude toward the storm is different. “What I can’t do today I can do tomorrow,” she said.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 1 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton. Heavy snow is expected with accumulations between 7 and 12 inches west of interstate 81 and 11 to 17 inches along and east of interstate 81. Snow could fall heavy at times, up to 2 inches per hour.

Cortland County is among seven New York counties under the warning.

The Cortland County Sheriff’s Office had issued a travel advisory which expired at 7 a.m. today. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office issued a travel ban this morning that remains in effect until 5 p.m. today. The Weather Service warns that travel could be difficult, including during the morning commute. The National Weather Service expects heavy snow to gradually tapers off to snow showers into the evening.

Winds gusting as high as 45 mph this afternoon are expected to cause blowing and drifting snow, along with scattered power outages from downed trees and power lines.

National Grid reminded customers to clear gas vents of snow and ice to prevent carbon monoxide building up. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu, and can include headaches, weakness, confusion, chest tightness, skin redness, dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, heart fluttering or loss of muscle control. If you suspect carbon monoxide is in your home, go outside immediately, breath deeply and call 911.

Saturday sees a chance of snow showers mainly before 1 p.m. and a high temperature near 33 degrees.

Chelci Vanderweit, an employee at Bill Brothers Market in McGraw, said people had been in and out of the store throughout the day stocking up on milk, bread, eggs and more.

Sheila Cohen, an owner of the Local Food Market, was gathering food supplies, mainly for a party Monday night, but also some items for the storm. “I needed some milk,” she said. She added some fruits and vegetables, too.

While she was getting some groceries, Cohen said she hoped the storm would miss Cortland. “I’m hoping it doesn’t hit us,” she said.

Cohen had hoped to go to an event, Women Working Together, today. But she’d stay home if needed.

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