First winter storm of 2019 leaves Warwick in deep freeze

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  • Photo by Roger GavanThe temperature was 12 below zero in higher elevations on Monday, Jan. 21.

  • Photo by Niki FolinaMid-day temperature in Village of Florida on Monday, Jan. 21.

WARWICK — On Saturday, Jan. 19, the National Weather Service forecast, later upgraded from a watch to a winter storm warning, called for snow, sleet, and freezing rain late that night into Sunday with strong winds and 10 inches accumulation of snow and sleet.

The agency warned of hazardous travel with roads becoming snow and ice covered along with gusty winds, which could bring down tree limbs and power lines.

By Monday, the winter storm warning was canceled.

Now the problem was not the snow accumulation, which turned out to be less than forecast, but a deep freeze with actual temperatures in the higher regions as low as 12 degrees below zero and much lower when computing the wind chill factor.

Commuters were warned of hazardous travel conditions as residual moisture and leftover standing water on area roads would freeze, or remain frozen.

That would lead to areas of black ice. And anyone out driving or walking was told to be prepared for slippery roads, driveways and walkways.

Fortunately it was a national holiday in celebration of Dr., Martin Luther King and there were fewer commuters.

"It was challenging," said Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton," but our crews attacked it properly and early from Saturday night until Sunday."

The Warwick Police Department also reported no serious accidents.

On Monday Mike Donovan, spokesperson for Orange and Rockland Utilities, said that there were 150 power outages in Warwick but the company's crews were expected to complete repairs and restore power later in the day.

As usual O&R warned everyone to report but not approach any downed power lines.

- Roger Gavan

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