What You Need to Know About Winter Storm Harper’s Impact on the Southern Tier
Winter Storm Harper is rolling into town and is expected to dump anywhere from Stella has arrived and is expected to dump up to an inch of snow on the Southern Tier today, 1-3 inches Saturday during the day, and another 10-20 inches on Saturday night. But wait, there's more. We could see another 1-2 inches of snow on Sunday. If you're doing the math, we could see upwards of 25 inches of snow by the time it's over if we get the max amount each day. As Winter Storm Harper bears down on us, there are a few things you should know.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for 12 p.m. Saturday until 4 p.m. on Sunday. A Winter Storm Warning means that dangerous weather is happening right now, right where you are. A winter storm WARNING means- don’t even think about leaving your house/business/school wherever because it’s not safe to go outside. If you’re traveling when a WARNING is issued, you need to not try to fight the storm, but instead, find a place to hang out until the worst of it is over.
If you live or work in JC, you are asked to remove your vehicle from the street over the weekend to help the snow plows clear the streets and to help emergency vehicles get through. Alternate side parking and snow emergency routes will be strictly enforced. Don’t follow the rules, and you’ll be rewarded with a fine and/or a towing bill. In JC, officials have authorized free parking in all JC Municipal parking lots from Saturday, January 19th through Tuesday, January 22nd (including overnight) without a parking permit. Village lots are located between Broad and Willow Streets, at the JC Village Hall, across from the JC Police Station, at Main and Arch Streets (Isabell Lot), at Northside Park (Harry L Drive Lot and Lot off N. Hudson Street), at CFJ Park (Lot off Gannett Drive), at Floral Park, at Boland Park, and at the Johnson City Senior Center Lot at 30 Brocton Street.
Because of the winter weather, Mayor Rich David and City of Binghamton public safety staff are strongly urging all residents to avoid parking on City streets this weekend. While the City's alternate side parking rules remain in effect, by not parking on the roads, you'll help snow plows and emergency personnel be able to better clear the roads. The Binghamton Police Department will be out in full force this weekend, handing out tickets to anyone parked on the wrong side of the road. Also, any vehicle parked illegally or blocking plow routes will be towed.
The Broome County Sheriff's Office has issued a statement on driving during Winter Storm Harper and their advice is basically just not to drive if you can. The statement reads, "The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all - if you can avoid it. We understand that there are people who have to travel for essential purposes. Don't go out until the snow plows and salt trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions. If you find yourself in an accident or disabled on the roadway - do NOT get out of your vehicle unless it's necessary. Call 911 and report your incident. **Other vehicles may not see you, or may slide into you.**"
A State of Emergency is declared by a governor when he/she believes that disaster has already happened, or that it might happen. By issuing the State of Emergency, the governor is able to get help to local government officials faster. It allows the governor to dispatch help, shelter those who may need shelter, evacuate those who may need evacuation, etc.
Many people believe this declaration means they should bunker down and stay where they are. While it might not be the best idea to travel during Winter Storm Harper, the State of Emergency doesn't mean you can't travel. Travel bans are almost always issued at the county or local level.