Heavy, wet snow fell overnight across Chautauqua County... with some areas getting up to eight inches since early yesterday afternoon. The major storm system moving up the east coast is now projected to dump up to 15 inches of snow on parts of the region before moving out later tonight. However... while the general snowfall will begin tapering off... some Lake Effect Snow will enter the mix late tonight and into early Thanksgiving Day. That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Apfell says the worst period of snow began late last night and continued through the overnight. He says we'll see another 2 to 4 inches during the day today. Along with the Lake Effect system later today... Apfell says it'll get colder... and, winds will be out of the north at 15 to 30 miles an hour. That'll bring about some blowing and drifting of snow in the traditional snow belt areas. By Thanksgiving Day... we'll see snow showers, and highs of only 25 to 28 degrees.
There's heavy snow continuing in the forecast... and, with that... Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace is encouraging drivers to be prepared for slippery driving conditions. Gerace says the biggest cause of winter related crashes is speed. Gerace says it's also important to plan ahead. And depending on weather conditions, you might want to postpone travel if possible. When venturing out, make sure you're dressed for conditions... and, carry a cell phone and flash light. It's also a good idea to keep your fuel tank full. Gerace says you may have to keep your vehicle running for a long time should you become stranded.
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2013 General Campaign has reached 55-percent of it's goal of just over 1.3-million dollars. In fact... Campaign Co-Chairman Deke Kathman says they're a little ahead of schedule... having raised just over 726-thousand dollars. However... Kathman says this is a little "nerve -wracking" at the same time because several companies and divisions are still wrapping up their drives. Kathman says if any volunteers running campaigns at local businesses need support... they should contact the United Way's Jamestown office. Kathman adds that two of the campaign divisions... or workplaces.... have helped get them to more than half of the 1.315-million dollars. One is the business sector. The other is the education division... where the Jamestown Public Schools were very successful. Coincidently... Kathman is the retired superintendent of the Jamestown School District. Kathman adds the need is still there among the United Way... and, it's 18 member agencies. He says they're all doing "very important work... " and serving definate needs in the community. For more information... call 483-1561... or go on-line to UWayscc-dot-ORG.
Twenty improverished children attending Love Elementary School in Jamestown got new Winter coats -- just in time for the snow storm that's moved into the area. Members of the Jamestown Firefighter's union brought the coats to the school Monday following their local "Firefighter's Coats for Kids" Drive. They raised money to purchase new, American-made winter coats. Love School Principal Renee Hartling says it was a great day for those students. Jamestown Professional Firefighter's Local 1772 embarked on the project earlier this Fall to get the coats. Hartling says... with many kids at Love School falling below the poverty line... they had to find a fair way to determine who got the coats. Firefighter's Union Secretary Andy Caruso says they were able to get 100 Winter coats for the kids... with 20 going to impoverished kids at each of Jamestown's five elementary school.
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is well-underway... but, the annual need remains for bellringers to man the kettles in the Jamestown-area. Major John Merchant now heads up the local human service agency, along with his wife, Kimberly. Merchant says the effort to reach the 100-thousand dollar goal has gotten off to a bit of a slow start... but, adds they started early because Thanksgiving is late this year. He says they had many openings yesterday... and, even more today. Merchant says they're pretty flexible on what bellringer's time commitments are. He says they can be for an hour to 2 or 3. Merchant says they'll be helping about 620 families during the holiday season... but, adds the need for their food pantry has jumped -- for basically two reasons. Merchant says the Red Kettle Campaign has raised about 11-thousand dollars so far... but, they'll have a better handle on the amount after this weekend. If you have the time to be a bellringer... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108.