Winter retains grip on region

WARRENSBURG-A heavy late-winter storm buried the Adirondacks Monday March 7 with a thick blanket of snow, prompting traffic nightmares, closure of schools and businesses, and loss of power to thousands of homes.

The snowfall of 15 to 30 inches was accompanied by winds of up to 30 miles per hour and freezing rain.

Vehicles slid off roadways or were abandoned at roadside as state, county and local highway department employees worked overtime to keep the roads passable.

Various municipalities declared snow emergencies, and ice jams forming Monday and Tuesday in the Hudson River in northern Warren County prompted flood warnings, with evacuation advisories being issued for homes along the waterway near the hamlet of North Creek.

Police agencies reported dozens of accidents in the county, and that clearing the roads was difficult, because the deep snow fell on top of sleet and ice that was on the roadways underneath from Sunday's precipitation.

Several thousand homes in the region were without power early Monday, particularly in areas where heavy ice formed on tree branches.

In Warrensburg, mail carrier Doug Olden trudged Monday through knee-deep snow at dozens of residences to get to mailboxes.

"I'm moving south," he quipped as he walked down Library Avenue, which had a river of water flowing over frozen sleet.

The heavy snowfall prompted many homeowners to hire heavy equipment operators to remove snow from their yards because the several feet already accumulated from prior storms made cleanup of the new snowfall virtually impossible.

Bryan Rounds of Rounds Paving & Contracting, had five plow trucks and several loaders at work Monday. He said driveways across the region were now merely tunnels up to homes.

"Really, I'd rather not see snow like this," he said. "People are overtaxed with the high price of fuel and now, keeping their driveways clear," he said. "I'd be much happier if people could save their money for driveway repair and property improvement."

But Rounds is likely to be disappointed, according to meteorologists' predictions on Wednesday - three to eight more inches of snow were called for.

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