Treacherous Travel Returns To Area

In a span of just two days, Chautauqua County has seen the best and worst of Mother Nature. The latter is poised to stick around a while, however.

A lake effect snow warning remains in effect for much of the Southern Tier, with 4 to 7 inches of snow expected today in the region. A half-foot of snow was due to hit by this morning.

The wintry weather comes a day after Western New York enjoyed some of the warmest weather on record. Earlier this week, temperatures crept up in the mid-40s, with a high of 59 degrees on Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the previous record high was smashed by 10 degrees.

However, the cold returned Thursday and so did the snow. And by the evening there were numerous reports of accidents throughout the county.

“It’s fairly common when you get one warm day in January. It is followed by strong winds and much colder temperatures a day or two later,” said John Hitchcock, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. “When we get these big warm ups, it’s followed by cold and wind.”

According to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, a tractor-trailer jackknifed on Route 60 around 10:30 a.m. in the town of Gerry due to heavy winds and wintry conditions. Domenick Defillipes, 53, of Cleveland, Ga. was traveling north on Route 60 at Old Chautauqua Road when the accident occurred. Traffic was reduced to a single lane for more than two hours as a result of the accident. Charges were not filed.

In Ellicott, a snow plow from the town Highway Department ended up in the ditch on Horton Road around 1 p.m. Thursday. Police and members of the highway department responded to the scene.

A two-car accident around 2 p.m. at the intersection of Washington and Fourth streets in Jamestown briefly caused delays.

A collision occurred between a school bus and a moving truck at the intersection of Howard and Water streets in the village of Fredonia shortly before 3 p.m. The school bus did not have any passengers at the time and only the driver was on board. Fredonia Police investigated the accident but did not have further details Thursday evening. Fredonia Police also responded to a car off the road. According to Dunkirk Police, they responded to a few minor “fender benders.”

Another tractor-trailer jackknifed on Route 60 in the town of Dunkirk. The incident occurred around 12:15 p.m. and police shut down the road for under 30 minutes while the trailer was removed. New York State Police at Fredonia responded and said the incident was caused by high winds. No injuries were reported.