Area experiences first major winter storm of the season

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Dec. 17, 2013
Lou Rosario shovels with his bull terrier, Della, at his home near Columbia Lake. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Lou Rosario shovels with his bull terrier, Della, at his home near Columbia Lake. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Most of the local area received between 4 and 7 inches of snow on Dec. 14 and 15, during an event that the National Weather Service called the region’s “first significant winter storm of the season.”

The snow began lightly on Saturday morning, causing the cancellation of some events, while others went on as planned. All over the area on Dec. 14, local groups stood in the snow amid temperatures below 20 degrees to lay wreaths honoring military personnel during Wreaths Across America ceremonies. At craft shows and other events, folks kept their fingers crossed, hoping that the heavier precipitation would, as predicted by the forecasters, hold out until after dark.

And for the most part, it did. Road crews were able to keep up with the lightly-falling snow into the evening hours, and the heavier snowfall didn’t come until the early evening and overnight hours. There was a change to sleet and freezing rain after midnight in most areas. As the sun came up, residents began to dig out from the storm. Major roads were passable, kept clear by hard-working crews during the overnight hours. By mid-morning, crews were still working to clear parking lots, sidewalks, vehicles and residential driveways.

Everywhere, snow-throwers buzzed and shovels scraped. At the corner of Prentice Hill Road and Route 85, a young man used a front-loader to move larger mounds of snow and ice. In the RHAM parking lot, town employees worked alongside private contractors to try to ready the school for an evening performance in the auditorium. At the Hebron Town Hall, employee Willie Bell toted a bucket of ice melt across the parking lot. He stopped momentarily to greet Tommy Siena, arriving in his Higgins Electric pickup truck. The company is overhauling the electrical service for the town office building, and was working all weekend in an attempt to complete the job by Monday morning. Bell had already cleared many of the public sidewalks near the center of town, and had many more left to do. “It’s a lot of work,” he said.

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