Polar Vortex Crosses Region

DUNKIRK – Chautauqua County residents should prepare for another burst of bone chilling temperatures and snowfall across the region today.

According to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, a lake effect band reached the region Monday, causing up to 3 inches of snowfall per hour with expected temperatures near zero this morning.

“We got a really strong cold front coming over the region which will cause lake effect snow through the next couple days,” said meteorologist Aaron Reynolds.

Reynolds said some areas in Erie County will receive 2-3 feet of snow.

“The wind chill will get down to 25-30 degrees below and temperatures will continue to drop,” he said.

Reynolds said if anyone has to travel they should make sure their roads are open first and also that their car is prepared for heavy snow.

The Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services wants everyone to be prepared for the chilling weather.

Director of Emergency Services Julius Leone said Monday afternoon people should make arrangements to stay inside the next couple of days.

“If they don’t have to go out they should make arrangements to stay indoors and off the roads (till Wednesday),” he said.

Leone said frost bite can happen very fast so people should “dress in layers” and “limit the exposure of skin.”

“People need to be prepared for the possibility of frost bite the next few days,” he said. “They should also keep their pets inside or at least out of the elements since they can get frost bite too.”

Leone said temperatures will drop up to 40 below zero so people need to be safe.

“If people are living in apartments and know of anyone living alone, especially the elderly, make sure they have plenty of food and heat,” he said. “Be a good neighbor.”

Leone said if you have a heater that uses supplemental heat, like fire-places or wood stoves you need to keep the chimneys clean in order to protect from fire.

“Make sure to keep safe,” he said. “If we lose power and you need to use a generator make sure it is outside, to minimize exposure to carbon monoxide.”

Leone said the same rule applies for if you get stranded in your vehicle.

“You should turn your car on and off periodically, and keep the window open a little so the exhaust doesn’t get trapped inside the car,” he said.