Poughkeepsie… As the winter mix of snow, rain and ice continues throughout the day, Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus urges all county residents to exercise particular caution when out driving on the roads. “The mix we have been experiencing, snow followed by heavy rain, has made road conditions tricky for drivers. If you must be out on the roads, leave yourself lots of extra time and drive slowly.”
The Department of Emergency Response has received more than 400 calls through the 911 system in the past twenty hours. “More than 150 motor vehicle accidents have been reported since late yesterday and we are starting to get calls about flooding issues. In order to keep up with the calls, we’ve brought in additional dispatchers to handle the increased volume.” said Emergency Response Coordinator John Murphy.
The Department of Public Works Highway Division has been out since yesterday afternoon clearing snow off county roads according to Acting Commissioner of Public Works Charlie Traver. Snow pushed off the roadways has covered many catch basins, and the heavy rain has collected on roadways. “Our challenge now is clearing the snow off the water run-off basin, so all of the rain has somewhere to go,” said Traver. Drivers need to be aware they may encounter standing water in roadways and should proceed slowly and cautiously.
The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures to drop below freezing tonight which could further complicate road conditions. Freezing rain could turn to snow, making travel hazardous. The National Weather Service is strongly discouraging travel under such conditions. For up-to-date weather information, visit http://www.weather.gov/.
For additional information about winter safety, visit http://www.dutchessny.gov/. “Our website has a complete winter safety checklist to help families enjoy the winter season safely,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.