NORWICH – Since about 3:30 a.m. Valentine’s Day, road crews from the local, county and state highway departments started what would eventually end up being a 16-hour shift battling the winter weather.
Local storm spotters reported to the National Weather Service that Norwich received 23 inches, West Bainbridge 26.8 inches and Greene between 10 and 13.8 inches. During the worst parts of the storm, as much as two inches fell an hour, according to Norwich Emergency Management Officer A. Jones.
Chenango County issued a State of Emergency Wednesday night, effective from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. this morning.
Chenango County Emergency Management Deputy Director Matt Beckwith said, “People have to understand, our guys can’t work more than 16 hours in a shift, and they all have lives of their own to see to, especially on a holiday. The county doesn’t have enough personnel to run a split shift operation.” After conferences throughout the day with state, local and county officials, Beckwith said, “The general consensus was things are going to get worse before they get better. The national services were telling us three inches an hour, and our crews couldn’t keep up with that.” Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Richard B. Decker decided to close the roads based on this information, said Beckwith.