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January 7, 2014 - 7:29pm

As the wind blows, so will the travel ban for Genesee County

posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Officials are looking closely at weather patterns, not just the snow forecasts, but what the wind will do over the next several hours, as they contemplate the timing of removing a travel ban in Genesee County.

Best guess, the travel ban will be lifted some time in the morning.

Throughout the night, there's only a 30-percent chance of snow in Genesee County and by 3 a.m., winds will dip below 20 mph for the first time.

That's about the time additional plow crews will hit the roadways, said Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County.

"We're trying to coordinate everything now," Yaeger said. "With different municipalities, there's different capabilities for plowing the roads and we want to make sure all is clear and safe before we lift the travel ban. By sometime after midnight or by three o'clock we'll have a better idea. I'm hopeful we'll be able to get traffic moving in the morning.

Pembroke is still in really bad shape," Yaeger added. "The southern part of the county and Pembroke are in the worst shape."

While city streets are largely cleared of snow, Yaeger noted, "it's just a sheet of ice underneath."

With temperatures at or near zero, merely salting the roadways is largely ineffective.

The winds are the real problem though, because blowing and drifting snow create whiteout conditions and make plowing some roads pretty much futile. The snow drifts back over the surface minutes after the snow plow leaves the area.

"Things are improving," Yaeger said. "The winds are dying down, the snow is subsiding. If it keeps at it, hopefully we'll be in good shape in the morning."

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