Brighter outlook

An eerie calm settled over the city of Dunkirk on Tuesday night.

According to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the lake effect band which hit the Buffalo area and grazed Chautauqua County Monday shifted Tuesday night into the Dunkirk area.

Meteorologist Tom Paone said the Dunkirk area would see up to 3 inches of snow Tuesday night and it would improve for everyone today.

“It will improve, we may see a few snow showers (Wednesday), but it won’t be as bad,” he said. “However, the wind chill will still be an issue.”

Paone said the wind chill will drop to 20 below today and on through the night.

“People should still stay indoors if they can,” he said. “It will still be very cold.”

Most area schools remain closed today.

The American Red Cross wants people to be aware of various shelters opened to care for them in this bitter weather.

Chief Communications Officer Jay Bonafede said most of the people who seek shelter are those who have been stranded on the roadside.

“Those who used the shelter Monday were mostly people who were stranded on the Thruway and were taken to the shelters by police,” he said.

Bonafede said the American Red Cross assisted the Ripley Fire Hall, Irving Fire Hall, and Sunset Bay Fire Hall with shelter for weary travelers who were caught in the storm Monday night.

“We register those who use the shelters and make sure they get what they need, such as a warm cup of coffee and a snack,” he said. “We will determine how long to be open for if necessary.”

Bonafede said he wants to remind people to be a good neighbor.

“If you know of any elderly who might be trapped in their homes, make sure they are okay, check on them,” he said. “It is way too cold for them.”

“Stay inside if possible,” he said. “Wear many layers if going outside to protect from frostbite, which is a high risk during this cold weather.”

Bonafede said when these situations happened in the past it was usually the travelers who needed help during traveling bands.

“We want to encourage travelers to locate their local shelters, “he said. “We have an app on our website which will tell people where they can find help.”

It is very important in this frigid cold to stay safe and stock up on supplies to prepare yourself for staying indoors till the worst is behind us.

Comments on this story may be sent to jwillis@observertoday.com