CARS HOMES JOBS

Snowy commute, but no major accidents

Thursday, December 27, 2012
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Claire Eager of Niskayuna takes a taste of the first snow fall of the year in front of her home Thursday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Claire Eager of Niskayuna takes a taste of the first snow fall of the year in front of her home Thursday.

— A snowy commute this morning left some drivers sliding around the roads, with cars into ditches, but no major incidents reported.

The overnight storm dropped as much as 14 inches on some parts of the Capital Region, with Schenectady County seeing 7 or 8 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Authorities reported minor incidents, including some cars off the road, but, overall, drivers appeared to be getting to their destinations, albeit slower than normal.

“I think everybody knew it was coming and people prepared,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve DiRienzo said this morning. “There’s always a few fender benders.”

Rotterdam police reported a couple cars off Interstate 890 at about 7 a.m. this morning, but little else. City fire officials reported a car into a pole overnight believed to be weather-related.

On Interstate 87 in Colonie, state traffic cameras were trained on a car that apparently spun out north of Sand Creek Road just before 9, ending up facing the opposite direction of traffic. An accident on Interstate 88 eastbound slowed traffic near Exit 25.

In Schenectady, Deputy Fire Chief Vincent Krawiecki reported little impact from the storm related to accidents.

“The plows have been taking care of the roads and we haven’t had any major calls,” Krawiecki said.

It was in Schoharie County that the storm dropped 14 inches on at least one area by 8 a.m. this morning, DiRienzo said. Generally east of the Hudson River didn’t receive as much as areas west of the Hudson, he said.

DiRienzo expected snow to continue falling at least through noon today, with light snow falling beyond that. Areas north of Albany are expected to have the lingering snow, he said.

“It still should be a slow go tonight,” DiRienzo said. “But by tomorrow, everything should be cleaned up.”

Schoharie County Sheriff Anthony Desmond said that 12.5 inches of heavy snow had fallen in Sharon Springs by 9:15 a.m. Driving towards the town of Schoharie via Route 20, he said that the roads in Carlisle were snowy and slippery.

“No roads are closed, though, and we’ve only had one EMS call reported at 3 a.m. this morning. There’s one tractor trailer pulled off to the side of the road on my right. Everything’s looking ok.”

The snowfall rate is expected to include “brief intermittent bursts of one to two inches of snow per hour through noontime… and generally under one inch per hour this afternoon…” Winds of 10-20 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph in higher elevations are expected, while temperatures will remain in the upper 20s and lower 30s.

Spokesman for the National Weather Service at Albany Ian Lee said that the heaviest snowfall in the Schenectady area should be expected to occur through this morning until the afternoon, when rates will begin to taper off.

Schoharie County is one of the areas where snowfall totals are expected to be at their highest – between 14 and 18 inches by the storm’s end. Schoharie County Emergency Management Director Kevin Neary said by phone that no local routes have been closed and that drivers should exercise caution. He said that people should not be driving unless they have to, and that they should keep the roads clear for the snow plow drivers to do their jobs.

“They’re good people and they’re good at what they do,” he said. He also said that he had spoken with Fire Coordinator Matthew Brisley who said that no power outages have been reported.

“This snow is heavy and wet, and we want people to exercise caution when they’re shoveling it,” Neary said. He advised people to keep an eye on snow gathering on roofs and porches because it presents a danger of falling or of causing structural damage.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Adam Schwabrow said that everything was looking “so far, so good,” in Montgomery County.

“The roads are a little slick, but the main roads are cleared up. These are normal weather conditions. Just give yourself a little extra time to get where you’re going,” he said.

Forecast, travel

Snow showers are likely tonight, mainly before 9 p.m.

Skies are expected to be clear on Friday.

Many plane and bus schedules have been affected by the storm.

For information on CDTA bus route changes, click here.

For information on Albany International Airport departure and arrival updates, click here.

Check back for updates on road conditions, accidents and closings throughout the morning.

 
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