Schenectady County

Niskayuna neighbors pick up after ice storm

Piles of twigs, barrels of sticks and bags of yard debris were abundant Sunday afternoon around t


Piles of twigs, barrels of sticks and bags of yard debris were abundant Sunday afternoon around the tree-lined streets of the Old Niskayuna neighborhood, which was heavily damaged by the December ice storm.

Residents of the neighborhood were out en masse Sunday afternoon to take in the unseasonably warm temperatures and pick up the debris left over from the storm, which downed trees and power lines and cut power to most of the neighborhood’s homes for nearly a week.

Ray Colucciello Jr. who owns a home at the corner of Nott Street and Valencia Drive, was outside raking his yard Sunday afternoon.

Small logs, sticks and twigs were piled at the edge of his property and he said the town had already collected debris once.

Colucciello said all the work was still part of the town’s recovery efforts from the ice storm.

Colucciello said he has owned the house for 15 years and has never been able to rake in March because there has always been snow on the ground. He said he thinks the region is in for at least one more snowstorm so he’s taking advantage of the nice weather now.

Many of his neighbors were doing the same thing, including Bill Cliff of Albany, the owner of 205 Hoover Road, who was getting ready to sell the place. He had gathered 14 bags of lawn debris Sunday afternoon and said he expected to fill about 10 more bags before he was finished cleaning up.

Cliff said he had been working all weekend and was enjoying the work and spending time in the neighborhood, where family bike rides, dog walking and pick-up basketball games were going on in the nice weather.

Cliff said he especially liked all the exercise he was getting.

“It’s the best kind because you’re accomplishing something and making the neighborhood look nice,” he said.

Joe Cross of 2016 Clifton Park Road, was enjoying some time alone while he raked outside.

“It’s beautiful outside and my wife and kids are at their grandmother’s, so I thought it would be a good time to catch up on some yard work,” Cross said.

Cross said he’s looking forward to spring and has already looked at new grills.

Chris Rooney, of 1933 Dean St., was raking up twigs and yard debris with his 5-year-old son Thomas.

Rooney said he was lucky because the storm that knocked down the tree that put a hole in his neighbor’s roof left only small twigs strewn around his yard, which Thomas was busily picking up Sunday afternoon.

Rooney said he had put off cleaning the yard all weekend and had exhausted all his excuses by Sunday afternoon. Plus, the weather was so nice it didn’t feel like work.

“Whether its yard work or whatever, everyone is outside this weekend,” Rooney said. “It’s really nice. I’ve been waiting for this since November.”

John Quinlan, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Albany, said the high Sunday reached 56 degrees, which is about 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.

The area is expected to see clear skies and temperatures into the 50s until Wednesday night when a cold front is expected to bring rain, Quinlan said.

The end of the week and next weekend is expected to be more seasonable with temperatures in the mid-40s.

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