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St. Lawrence County Emergency Services says Monday conditions were not unusual

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CANTON - The threat of icy conditions might have closed St. Lawrence County schools Monday, but county Emergency Services interim Director Keith J. Zimmerman said Monday afternoon that emergency responders handled a typical number of calls throughout the day.

“It’s winter,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “People up here know how to drive.”

The freezing rain some parts of the county experienced Sunday and Monday resulted in a few cars in ditches, but the ice didn’t seem to stick, Mr. Zimmerman said.

“I’m not seeing any new ice on the trees,” he said. “I think the warm temperatures lasted a little longer than originally expected.”

Mr. Zimmerman also credited road crews that spent the day salting roads and clearing snow.

“The road crews, to their great credit, were out early,” he said. “It’s just hard to keep up with it.”

Mr. Zimmerman said the extreme weather people are experiencing in other parts of the state doesn’t appear to be headed to the area.

“We’re paying attention to the weather forecast,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

He said emergency services officials are not expecting anything out of the ordinary.

Temperatures are expected to drop back down into the teens over the next several days, according to the National Weather Service.

“We’ll have some more patches of black ice,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman advised people to drive cautiously.

“Better to be a few minutes late than end up in a ditch,” he said.

Supervisor of Dispatch Operations James Chestnut also advised caution while walking on icy sidewalks and under ice-covered roofs.

Although Monday morning’s higher temperatures melted some snow Mr. Chestnut said ice remained, in some places becoming a solid sheet stretching down the sidewalk.

“We had a lot of slips and falls calls,” Mr. Chestnut said, speaking of Sunday and Monday.

Potsdam Rescue, for example, responded to a call Monday afternoon for a 45-year-old male who had slipped on the ice in the Building Blocks Day Care Center and was reportedly unconscious. Massena Rescue had a call for a female who had fallen in the parking lot at the St. Lawrence Centre mall near JC Penney’s.

Mr. Chestnut recommended using sand, salt, ash or kitty litter on sidewalks to help gain traction.

He also recommended people take extra caution around roofs loaded with ice. One man in the county ended up in the hospital with minor injuries after getting hit with a sheet of ice falling from his roof, Mr. Chestnut said.

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