Snow Briefs – March 16, 2017

Meteorologist Chides Christie Over Weather Service Criticism

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – A former top meteorologist on Wednesday called out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for complaining about high snow forecasts that failed to materialize. Several inches of snow were predicted for Tuesday, but most of the state saw just rain and a little snow. The governor called the storm a “big underperformer” and said he’s had his fill with the National Weather Service. Gary Szatkowski, who used to work for the service, said he expected a more “responsible perspective” from Christie. He cites an “outstanding forecast” during Superstorm Sandy and the “disastrous” way the information was used. Weather Service acting chief Joe Miketta acknowledges the accumulation forecasts were overdone. But he says forecasts for precipitation amounts and coastal flooding were verified.

Watch Out! Train’s Snow Wave Engulfes Platform

RHINECLIFF, N.Y. – Amtrak customers in New York now know what to do when a train is approaching a station on snow-covered tracks: stand back. Several waiting passengers had their cellphones out Wednesday morning to take video of the train from Albany as it entered the station in Rhinecliff. As the train arrived, it hit deep snow left by this week’s major East Coast storm. The impact sent a huge wave of snow flying across the platform, engulfing people close to the tracks. No one was hurt.

Storm-Related Barn Collapse Kills Cows at Dairy Farms

ALBANY – Heavy snow and high winds from this week’s big storm have caused roofs to collapse upstate, including a barn housing 150 cows. The dairy barn collapsed Tuesday night under the weight of 3 feet of snow. Fire crews and farmers were able to rescue all the cows. Another barn collapse Tuesday night in nearby Cobleskill killed four cows. A barn collapse in Cherry Valley killed 10 cows.

Dog Rescued From Asia Saved Again During Snowstorm

NEW YORK – A dog that was rescued from the Thailand meat trade was rescued a second time Tuesday after it got spooked and bolted from its handler in Manhattan during the snowstorm. Pandy, a 4-year-old mixed-breed, ran about 40 blocks to the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, where she was in danger of being hit by traffic. She was spotted by police officers, who grabbed the leash still attached to her collar. A microchip enabled authorities to return Pandy to the shelter.

Zebra Born in Upstate Zoo During Snowstorm Named Blizzard

CHITTENANGO, N.Y. – A baby zebra born at a wild animal park during this week’s snowstorm Tuesday was given a fitting name: Blizzard. The zookeeper says Blizzard is very curious and bold and has a “great personality.”

Boy, 10, Dies After Being Trapped Under Snow Pile

PENDLETON, N.Y. – A 10-year-old boy trapped under a pile of snow died Wednesday in Niagara County. Police believe the boy was digging a tunnel when it collapsed on him.

IRS Extends Filing Deadline For Small Businesses Affected by Storm

ALBANY – The IRS is extending by five days the deadline to file business income tax returns for small businesses affected by wind and snow storms in New York. The businesses can file for a six-month extension without penalty until March 20.