Fri July 25, 2014
Regional Coverage

Midway Drive-In owner gets help from community to restore institution

The Midway Drive-In after a severe storm struck the region on July 8.
Midway Drive In Theatre- Minetto NY- Rebuilding Fundraiser Facebook

This weekend a local Girl Scout troop is teaming up with the owner of the Midway Drive-In in Minetto to raise money to rebuild the decades old facility that was destroyed during a storm that struck the region July 8.

Midway Drive-In owner John Nagelschmidt says although the wooden screen tower was destroyed, it happened at a good time of day, when no customers had yet arrived at the facility. If it had hit later in the evening, he believes things could have been a lot worse.

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Fri July 11, 2014

Update: Five tornadoes hit upstate New York Tuesday

Tornado damage in Smithfield, Madison County, where four people were killed.
Ellen Abbot WRVO

Update, Friday, July 11:

A fifth tornado from Tuesday's swath of powerful thunderstorms and twisters has been confirmed by the National Weather Service in Albany. This one in the eastern Adirondacks. More from the Associated Press:

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Thu July 10, 2014

How the weather service decides if a tornado touched down

Erik Heden, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, in East Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

At least four tornadoes ripped through central and northern New York Tuesday evening. It's the National Weather Service that makes that determination if a funnel cloud touched down. It's a careful and calculated process.

Armed with a compass, camera and notepad and paper the next morning, meteorologists Erik Heden and Mike Jurewicz retraced a storm that roared through Onondaga County, knocking down trees and power lines.

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Wed July 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Tornado kills 4 in Madison County; thunderstorms leave thousands without power around region

Damage from Tuesday's thunderstorm in Smithfield in Madison County where four people were killed
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The National Weather Service says a tornado struck the Smithfield area killing four people in Madison County and leaving tens of thousands without power and causing significant damage through the region.

A line of severe thunderstorms moved through the entire region of western, central and northern New York Tuesday evening causing damage in various areas, but Smithfield suffered the worse.

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Tue July 8, 2014

Powerful storm slams East Syracuse; fatalities in Madison County

An uprooted tree on McCool Ave. in East Syracuse after powerful storms tore through the village Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Trees were on front yards, on cars, in roads, on power lines and on top of houses in East Syracuse after a powerful storm system swept through the village Tuesday evening.

A few hours later, residents were using the remaining daylight to survey damage, many walking around or sitting in their driveway, others checking in on neighbors. Chainsaws were already roaring to begin cleaning up.

Emergency crews requested power be shut off to the entire village as power lines were down across several streets and yards.

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Tue July 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Severe storms kill 3 people in Madison County, damage homes, cause power outages throughout region

The screen at the Midway Drive-In in Minetto is destroyed by the storm
Photo courtesy of Oswego County resident Rick Grosvent

10:04 p.m. update:

The National Weather Service says three people died from the storms in Madison County.

Family members confirm to WRVO News that three people were killed in Peterboro when the homes they were in on Goff Road collapsed after being pounded by thunderstorms.

The deceased include a mother and her four-month-old daughter who were in a single family home. Another woman, approximately 70 years old, according to family members, was in a mobile home that was also destroyed. In all, four homes collapsed.

From earlier:

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Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Verona cleaning up after tornado touches down

Damage caused to the Sav-On gas station in Verona by an EF1 tornado.
Provided by Fritz Scherz

The Oneida County town of Verona is still cleaning up after a tornado touched down and caused damage to homes, road signs, trees and businesses Tuesday night.

Town Councilman Fred "Fritz" Scherz lives only a few miles from where the tornado landed. He says he quickly reached out to the National Weather Service to survey the damages.

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Sun June 1, 2014

How the sun and you car can create a dangerous situation

Credit WRVO

It’s summertime. It’s hot. Your car has been parked in the blazing sunshine all day. You get in and the seats feel like they’re burning your legs and the steering wheel is untouchable. You may think of it as uncomfortable, an inconvenience. But a car’s interior can reach a temperature high enough to be dangerous.

Click "Read More" to hear our interview with Jan Null.

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Thu May 8, 2014
-Nature of Things

South Carolina Sunrise

In this archived broadcast from September 11, 1992, John Weeks talks about waking up early one morning and how he wanted to see what difference a shift of 12 degrees in latitude would make. Weeks said that he woke up too early and that the stars were still shining in the sky but eventually the fog and dew were heavy enough to blur the street lights. He talks about the different sounds that he hears from the birds as well as the grasshoppers and the flowers that he sees.

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Thu April 24, 2014
Politics and Government

State conference focuses on future storm prep

An Oneida man's backyard shows damage to his property from flooding last June.
Gino Geruntino WRVO/File photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gathered local leaders from around the state to talk about reaction to past storms, and to plan for future ones.

Cuomo invited government leaders from Long Island, the North Country, central New York and other locales that experienced damage from Hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy. They gathered to praise their past efforts to react to the storms, and to report on the steps they are taking to prepare for future disastrous weather events.

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Thu March 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Closings and delays for Thursday

ecksunderscore Flickr

The blizzard that started in central and northern New York Wednesday is still clearing out of the region today. Some schools and other organizations are delaying opening. Please check back here for updates throughout the morning.

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Wed March 12, 2014

Winter storm brings heavy snow to the region

A winter storm is expected to affect most of the Northeast over the next few days.
National Weather Service

Spring is just over a week away, but winter storm warnings are in effect for most of central and northern New York from early Wednesday morning until early Thursday, as a large winter storm is expected to sweep through the area Wednesday afternoon into Thursday. 

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Sun March 9, 2014

Mark Monmonier on The Campbell Conversations

Syracuse University Geography Professor Mark Monmonier (left) speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

You'd think that Global Warming would make for less snow, but in this episode of the Campbell Conversations we learn why it might produce more snow, at least in Central New York.  Host Grant Reeher talks with Mark Monmonier about his latest book, Lake Effect:  Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows.  Find out what fascinated this Geography professor so much about our local snowfalls that he wrote an entire

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Fri February 21, 2014

Cold weather could mean fewer bees to pollinate fruit come spring

Mike Martino, owner of Honey Hill Orchards in Chittenango, N.Y. talks with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

This winter’s cold temperatures are creating tough survival conditions for honeybees. Come spring, the bees will be relied on to pollinate upstate New York apple, cherry, and other fruit trees.

Mike Martino began the winter with a hundred bee colonies on his Honey Hill apple orchard in Chittenango. He estimates he’ll lose about 30 colonies by spring time. He’s hoping the prolonged frigid temperatures of the past few months don’t kill off more.

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Thu February 20, 2014
-Nature of Things

Talking About Spring

In this archived broadcast, Talking About Spring, John Weeks talks about how the weather is becoming nicer and all the snow is beginning to melt. He mentions that the rapid disappearances of snow is causing green brown pasture and weed fields all over. He also talks about how flooding can occur due to the amount of snow melting and he talks about different questions that he has received about the spring weather.

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Mon February 17, 2014

Meteorology professors, students track weather patterns

Jake Mulholland OWLeS

While most of those living along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and the Tug Hill Plateau have been cursing this winter and its seemingly constant snowfall, a group of researchers from 11 colleges, including SUNY Oswego, couldn't have been happier with the situation.

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Wed February 5, 2014
Winter Storm

State of emergency declared after winter storm closes schools, causes traffic problems

A winter storm is moving through the northeast over the next few days
National Weather Service

A fast moving winter storm is dumping heavy snow along the Southern Tier early this morning and could leave a foot or more of snow on the ground by this evening. 

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Tue February 4, 2014

Winter storm could make for a messy morning commute Wednesday

A winter storm is expected to affect most of the northeastern United States over the next few days
National Weather Service

Winter storm warnings have been posted for all of central New York and parts of the North Country as a winter storm is expected move through the region Tuesday night and Wednesday. 

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Wed January 22, 2014

Downed trees from ice storm will be turned into energy

Kids play amid downed tree limbs in Watertown after last month's ice storm.
Joanna Richards WRVO

All the power lines have been fixed after last month’s ice storm, and the crystal coatings have melted off the trees, but there’s still a persistent sign of the damage: lots of downed limbs.

Yards in the northern half of Jefferson County are full of tangled branches, sunk in the snow. Extricating them is going to be a long process, but there’s a plan in the works to give them a new life as fuel.

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Thu January 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo outlines emergency preparedness initiative

Carlet Cleare/WXXI

In his annual State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a major initiative to ramp up New York’s capacity for dealing with natural disasters.

Part of the multi-million dollar proposal involves installing a state-of-the-art weather detection system to provide more accurate, real time warnings.

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Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Community cared for many travelers during massive snowfall

A roomful of strangers at Jennifer Gaffney's home in Adams have fun getting to know each other. Gaffney took in five stranded motorists after the overflowing fire department put out a call for help from local residents.
Credit Jennifer Gaffney

Travelers got back on the road yesterday afternoon after Interstate 81 reopened following the massive snowfall. Many spent an unexpected night in the north country – some in hotels, some in fire halls, some in the homes of strangers. The experience might have been a lousy advertisement for the climate here, but natives seemed to be at their best as Good Samaritans during the storm.

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Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Lake effect snow continues in North Country; many travelers stranded

Residents are trying to dig out in Adams, NY
Sarah Crisafulli

The lake effect snow warning for northern New York has been extended until Thursday at 1 p.m. as upwards of four feet of snow has fallen in some spots since Monday. A state of emergency remains in effect for 14 counties, including Oswego, Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Forecasters predicted snow to fall at a rate of two to three inches an hour Wednesday morning in an area in the Tug Hill area.

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Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

National Guard helping New York dig out of blizzard

Members of the 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing prepare supplies to help western New York residents after the blizzard.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More than 200 National Guard members have been called on to help parts of New York dig out of the blizzard and frigid temperatures, but roll call was all volunteer.

Twenty members of the 174th Air National Guard Wing based in Syracuse signed up to bundle up and join units from Niagara Falls, Utica and Buffalo to respond to the blizzard that hit western and northern New York this week.

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Tue January 7, 2014
Regional Coverage

Lake effect conditions shut down part of North Country

White out conditions in Adams, NY
Catherine Loper/WRVO

Pounding snow in the North Country and bitterly cold temperatures across the state will around for at least one more night.

Government officials in New York state from the governor on down are urging residents in parts of northern, central and western New York to stay indoors as lake effect snow, wind chill advisories and frigid temperatures are causing dangerous conditions.

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Mon January 6, 2014

Bitter cold, lake effect snow causes school closings, travel problems

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

Bitterly cold temperatures, strong winds and heavy lake effect snow is causing travel problems and school closings and delays around the region late Monday and Tuesday. 

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Fri January 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Storm moves out of New York state, but extreme cold temperatures remain

Durrie Lawrence/WRVO File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the worst of the winter storm is now over, but New Yorkers now face another challenge -- extreme cold.

In a conference call with reporters, Cuomo says the storm, which dropped several inches of snow, is moving east and out of New York.

“Mother nature has moved on, somewhat,” Cuomo said.

And he says all roads are now open. Cuomo defended his decision to close parts of the New York State Thruway, the Long Island Expressway, and I-84 overnight.

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Thu January 2, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cold weather grips central, northern New York

Loren Sztajer Flickr

Much of central New York is under a winter storm warning until tomorrow morning. Snow will fall heavily at times around the region, with the heaviest of the snow falling from Syracuse south. Six to 12 inches of snow is possible around central New York by tomorrow with lesser amounts to the north.

In addition to the snow, the region will be facing bitterly cold temperatures. Wind chill advisories are posted for the region through tomorrow morning.

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Thu December 26, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sand, salt, beet juice?

New York State Thruway Authority truck with 2,000 gallons of beet-brine mixture
Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

The winter months can pose a headache for drivers navigating the roads after a snow storm. Plowing can only do so much and too often a slick, hard pack of snow and ice can cover streets making them dangerous to drive.

So what are road crews trying now? Beet juice.

It’s not used everywhere, but it is catching on. The New York State Thruway Authority is one of several state agencies pre-treating and treating roads with and mixture of beet juice extract and brine water.

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Tue December 24, 2013
Regional Coverage

Lights, calm returning after ice storm, but some dangers remain

Jefferson County Legislature Chairwoman Carolyn Fitzpatrick praised emergency responders for keeping people safe during the ice storm during a Sunday afternoon press conference in Watertown.
Joanna Richards

The lights are coming back on in Jefferson County after the ice storm left most residents in the dark for some period over the weekend. National Grid says it expects to restore power to nearly all customers by midnight tonight.

Sixteen-hundred field workers from as far away as New Jersey and the Ohio Valley are helping to make that happen. Despite the progress, the utility says some customers could be in the dark through Christmas.

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Mon December 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

North Country scraping its way out of blanket of ice

Power lines downed by icy tree limbs coiled on the frozen roadways all over Watertown Sunday.
Joanna Richards