ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — The Twin Tiers is feeling frigid cold temperatures, as an arctic air mass takes over. The wind is also whipping through the region, causing feel-like temperatures to dip into the single digits or below.
After a weekend of ice, local public works departments are preparing for future storm systems to move through the region. The Twin Tiers has not experienced a lot of snow this winter, but portions of Western New York and Pennsylvania have seen extremely dangerous road conditions.
“Ice is always the most difficult scenario to handle. Our current salt Supply is full. We’re getting deliveries every week to restock,” Todd Housel, acting commissioner of Steuben County Public Works, told 18 News Monday.
Having salt and other de-icing supplies on hand can be useful for treating driveways or sidewalks. Experts also say having an emergency road kit in your car can be helpful when in a pinch. AAA has a full winter driving preparedness checklist on their website, but some important items to keep in your vehicle include:
- Mobile phone pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers, including emergency services and family members
- Car charger for the mobile phone
- Drinking water
- First-aid kit
- Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
- Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
- Snow shovel
- Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Winter window washer solvent
- Ice scraper with brush
- Cloths or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Warning devices (flares or triangles)
- Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
“Make sure you have proper ice removal whether it be shovels, salt, and ice picks,” Max Bernhard, a sales associate at Do It Center in Horseheads, added.
If you do have to venture out into the cold, make sure to dress in warm layers to avoid dangerous health conditions. If possible, doctors say to avoid being cold and wet from rain, snow, or ice. One weather headline includes the wind chill. As air passes over the body, it can quickly transport heat away, making it even more critical to wear warm layers.
“Your body wraps itself in an envelope of heat and if the wind is there blowing that envelope off, it’s that much harder to stay warm,” Dr. Dylan Kellogg, emergency room physician at Arnot Health, continued.
Warm weather resources are abundant in the area. Several organizations are prepared to deliver warm meals and shelter to residents in need of support.
“At the Elmira Community Kitchen, we are serving to-go meals daily from 11:30-12:30, so people are welcome to come for a meal. Also, our homeless shelter is operating 24/7, all year long,” Katie Rhodes, communications coordinator at Catholic Charities, explained.
Catholic Charities also offers free coats, hats, and gloves at the Community Kitchen. If you would like additional clothing, simply ask a staff member when you arrive.
As the Twin Tiers braces for arctic cold, experts remind everyone to dress warmly, equip cars with proper safety and warming gear, and limit time spent outdoors.