BROOME COUNTY – Winter Storm Gail is one for the history books.
Meterologists at the National Weather Service’s Binghamton office say its the second highest snowfall amount for a single calendar day, trailing only Winter Storm Stella in 2017.
Broome County had a travel ban in place for most of the day.
And while it expired at 4 P-M, county officials say motorists should still refrain from unnecessary travel and the state of emergency remains in effect.
Gail dumped as much as 41 inches in various locations around Greater Binghamton.
The band of heaviest snow stretched from the northern Pennsylvania counties of Tioga and
Bradford through Tioga and Broome in New York and extended into Delaware County.
National Weather Service Meteorologist in Charge Doug Butts says that more significant than the overall amount of snow was the rate at which it was falling.
Butts says that at 5 inches an hour, it’s nearly impossible for plows to keep up.
“Five inches an hour for one hour is one thing. But when the snow band sits on top of you for 5, 6, 7 or 8 hours, it’s hard to keep up with keeping the snow amounts cleared,” says Butts.
Broome County officials say the 9-1-1 dispatch center received over 600 storm related calls going back to 3 P-M yesterday.
County Exec Jason Garnar credits the Sheriff’s Office with being able to attend to medical calls when others couldn’t.
“When the ambulance couldn’t get to somebody, and the snowmobile couldn’t get to somebody, the Sheriff’s Office was able to take out their humvee which is a high axle 4 wheel drive vehicle and they were able to transport an individual to the hospital that needed medical attention immediately,” says Garnar.
The county did receive some heavy equipment, such as plows and front-end loaders, on loan from the state to address snow removal.
Garnar says that driving conditions remain hazardous and that anyone who has to drive should do so with extreme caution.