Mid-Hudson, Catskills dig out from storm that dumped up to 3 feet of snow; ski centers revel in late-winter gift

KINGSTON, N.Y. >> Highway crews were out in force, schools throughout the region were closed and local residents dug out their cars Wednesday, the day after a powerful late-winter Nor’easter buried the region in up to 3 feet of snow.

Ski centers and plowing companies cheered the storm, a business generator rarely seen so late in the season. A store in Rhinebeck, though, was anything but grateful for the massive accumulation. A large section of roof at Williams Lumber & Home Centers on U.S. Route 9 collapsed under the weight of snow Wednesday afternoon. No one was hurt, but damage to the building could keep the business closed for an extended period.

Across the region, most roads were clear and passable by late Wednesday afternoon, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. said it was dealing with only one power outage, in Woodstock. At the height of the storm on Tuesday, Central Hudson had more than 11,000 customers without power, mostly in Ulster County.

Diane Reeder, owner of the Kingston Candy Bar store on Wall Street in the city’s Uptown business district, said she came to work Wednesday to find a drippy mess — melted ice cream, the result of a power surge in the area causing a circuit breaker in the store to trip.

“One of the first things I noticed was the lights on the two [ice cream] dipping cabinets were out,” Reeder said.

She said the temperature in one of the freezers had reached 36 degrees, making the frosty treat “totally unusable as scoopable ice cream.”

But rather than “crying over melted ice cream,” Reeder said she will find other uses for the products, and she promised some “interesting” flavored delectables in the coming days.

States of emergencies and travel bans that were issued Tuesday were lifted Wednesday, though on-street parking continued to be banned in Kingston and in Dutchess County.

Joe Cebulko, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Albany, said his office service received reports of a whopping 33 inches of snow in the Ulster County community of West Shokan, in the town of Olive; 21.5 inches in the Northern Dutchess town of Rhinebeck; and 26 inches in Austerlitz, in Columbia County.

Kingston had 23 inches of snow, according to the weather service, and 38 inches of snow piled up in the Greene County town of Hunter, home to one of the region’s ski centers.

The Olympic Regional Development Authority reported 32 inches of snow at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the Highmount section of Shandaken.

Other local snow totals, according to the National Weather Service, included 24 inches in Plattekill, 18 inches in Saugerties, 21 inches in Red Hook and 25 inches in Catskill.

The primary lingering weather concern in the wake of the storm was wind.

“There’s going to be intermittent wind gusts throughout the evening [Wednesday], so blowing and drifting snow is a particular concern,” said Christina Speciale, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Almost all schools in region closed for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, and some, including Kingston, announced delayed openings for Thursday.

Kingston’s Citibus service was suspended again Wednesday, and trash collection was canceled for a second consecutive day as the city directed all its attention to moving the mountains of snow from the streets.

Kingston Mayor Steve Noble’s office said the city had all 23 of its trucks and two front-end loaders dedicated to snow removal, with priority being given to streets that remained unplowed.

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said the all county roads were open on Wednesday and highway crews were working to clear the remnants of the snow.

“Our folks are working awfully hard long hours, but this is what we do,” Hein said. “We will be digging out; we will also be helping others.”

The Olympic Regional Development Authority — which operated Belleayre, as well as the ski centers at Gore and Whiteface mountains in the Adirondacks — was celebrating the storm, especially following a two-year stretch that saw little in the way of natural snowfall.

“Stella (The Weather Channel’s name for the storm) has packed plenty of powder, leaving several inches to several feet of snow, stretching from New York state’s Adirondacks to the Catskills,” the authority said in a press release. “This Nor’easter could not have come at a better time for ski resorts throughout the Northeast.”

Source: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20170315/mid-hudson-catskills-dig-out-from-storm-that-dumped-up-to-3-feet-of-snow-ski-centers-revel-in-late-winter-gift

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