Call it our "December Thaw." Our weather has already changed and will continue to change over the coming weekend. That from Forecaster Dave Zaff at the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says a Flood Watch has been issued for the entire region... beginning this afternoon. Zaff says a surge of warm, moist air is moving in from the Pacific Southwest and the Gulf of Mexico. He says temperatures will be around the mid-40s today... then rise to about 54 Sunday. He adds we'll see a LOT of rain now through Sunday night. Zaff says today through Sunday... the region will see 1 to 2 inches of rain. He adds we'll be on the southern side of a frontal boundary over the weekend... so we'll just see rain, and, with the projected snowmelt... the strong likelyhood of flooding. He says that means residents living around places like Cattaraugus Creek... and, Silver Creek need to watchful. Zaff says the worst chance for flooding will be on Sunday... through Monday Morning. However... he says we'll get a shot of colder air starting late Sunday night... and, we'll be back to temperatures around freezing and scattered snow showers on Monday. Zaff says any flood waters should be receeding by then.
Local first responders... especially in the north county... will be keeping a close eye on area waterways during the weekend. Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says it's important for people to be prepared should any flooding occur. Leone says they will stay in communiction with people in those areas like Cattaraugus Creek... and, Sunset Bay... where ice jam flooding tends to occur. While there are obvious places to keep an eye on... Leone says there are others that may not be so obvious -- such as local ponds, and low-lying areas. Leone says first responders are aware of the situation and ready to go at a moment's notice should waters begin the rise.
The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved the 2014 Operating Budget this past week. Officials say it will result in an investment of 16 power plants and transmission facilities critical to cost effective energy efficiency projects. The budget will prioritize infrastructure upgrades and new tecnologies while preserving competitive power rates, which benefit New York businesses as well as support thousands of jobs. For more information and to view the entire budget, it is available on the NYPA website at www-dot-NYPA-dot-gov.
Much progress is being made by Chautauqua County Executive-Elect Vince Horrigan's transition team. Horrigan named the team not long following his election to the county's top-elected post. The Bemus Point Republican says he's had "much discussion" with each of the nine-members.... and, says the key will be implementation of the recommendations they make. As for his department heads... only one appears to be set with Gary Chilcott recently named director of Veteran's Services. The momentum Horrigan is talking about is current efforts that have come to fruition... or, are nearly in place. He says the first one is obviously the the deal announced by Governor Cuomo to move ahead with the NRG Re-powering project in Dunkirk. Another is the purchase of the current Ramada Inn in downtown Jamestown by the Hamister Group from the Buffalo area. Commenting during this week's 'Community Spotlight' program... Horrigan says one of the key recommendations of the transition team has been bringing people together to get the county's economy going again. He says that means getting people from the north and south... and, east and west... working together.
Chautauqua County legislators this week honored two key county leaders who did not seek re-election in November. County Clerk Sandy Sopak is retiring from the office she has held since 1994. Sopak began her tenure before the computerization of records... and, electronic imaging of documents. Former County Executive Greg Edwards wrapped up nearly eight years as the county's top-elected official last month to become the CEO of the Gebbie Foundation. He thanked the County Legislature for working with him to "accomplish a lot." Edwards says the acknowledgement "means a lot." Both Sopak and Edwards were presented with commendations from the County Legislature... and, received standing ovations.
When it comes to phrases that annoy, it looks like it's ``whatever'' forever. Pollsters at Marist College found that Americans considered ``whatever'' to be the most annoying word or phrase in conversation for a fifth straight year. Thirty-eight percent adults polled said ``whatever'' was most annoying in conversation, followed by ``like'' at 22 percent and ``you know'' at 18 percent. Bringing up the rear were ``just sayin,''' and ``obviously.'' The telephone poll of more than 11-hundred adults living in the continental United States was conducted December 3rd through December 5th... and, has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.