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Cayuga County drivers avoid serious accidents as snow piles up

Cayuga County drivers avoid serious accidents as snow piles up

People generally followed the travel advisory urging drivers in Cayuga County to use caution while driving, officials with two public safety agencies said Monday.

The advisory was put in place by Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in response to the winter storm that began earlier that morning. It asked drivers to be aware of slippery road conditions resulting from freezing rain and snow. The advisory was lifted Monday afternoon.

Mark Fritz, assistant fire chief at the Auburn Fire Department, said AFD responded to a downed wire in Auburn that turned out to be a cable wire, not an electrical wire.

No calls for injuries or motor vehicle accidents from the storm came into the department, Fritz said Monday afternoon. "We're doing good so far. Knock on wood," he said. 

Sheriff's office Lt. Michael Wellauer said the storm caused an uptick in the volume of calls for vehicles that went off the road, but there were no significant accidents or property damage. 

The advisory issued by the sheriff's office is primarily to inform people of potentially hazardous road conditions, but isn't meant to stop people from going to school or work, Wellauer said.

The National Weather Service forecast that the county would receive 6 to 12 inches of snow with "heavy mixed precipitation" between Sunday morning and 7 p.m. Monday. On Sunday, the NWS put winter storm warnings in place for the northern and southern ends of the county.

Auburn received about 8 inches of snow between Sunday and late Monday afternoon, according to the city's water filtration plant at 160 Swift St. The National Weather Service reported a range of measurements in the region, including 12 inches in Marcellus to the east and Trumansburg to the south of Cayuga County.

Snow totals reported in areas of southern Cayuga County early Monday ranged from 6 to 8.5 inches, the NWS said. To the north, a reading of 6 inches was reported from Cato on Monday afternoon.

Despite slick roads, Cayuga County 911 Administrator Denise Spingler said it was "very quiet." Spingler said people were doing a good job of following the sheriff's travel advisory, noting that dispatch center received a few vehicle accident calls but they were "nothing of significance."

Staff writer Mary Catalfamo can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or Find her on Twitter @mrycatalfamo.


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