Most of region gets 6 inches of snow or more; western areas get a break

The last blizzard of the year missed most of the Capital Region west of Schenectady as it passed thr
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Categories: Schenectady County

The last blizzard of the year missed most of the Capital Region west of Schenectady as it passed through Sunday through Monday, but it caused some traffic snarls and delays and left behind blow-chilling cold.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect through Tuesday morning due to blowing and drifting snow, according to the National Weather Service in Albany. Winds will hit between 20-30 mph with gusts of 40-45 mph. The wind chill will be around zero degrees during the day today and 5-10 below zero tonight.

“The winds will create reduced visibility and cover up roads that were plowed. They will mainly create a driving hazard,” said Meteorologist Joe Villani.

The Schenectady County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued an advisory to pet owners following the storm. “First and foremost, fur only goes so far in protecting cats and dogs from the elements,” says society chief Mathew B. Tully. “If your dog lives outside, ensure that adequate shelter is provided to protect the animal from the wind, moisture and cold. Heated floor mats, non-electric warming beds and bedded straw are good options. Never use a heated lamp or other type of home heater, as it may cause a fire,” he said.

Tully also said owners of animals with short hair, or animals that are young or old, and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Other hazards associated with the winter months include antifreeze.

Albany got between 8 inches and 14 inches of snow as the blizzard moved along the Eastern coast, starting shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday and ending around 10 a.m. today , Villani said.

The city of Albany issued a 24-hour snow emergency starting at 8 p.m. today and running through 8 p.m. Tuesday. During the emergency, vehicles must park on the even-numbered side of the street. After 8 p.m. Tuesday, vehicles must park on the odd-numbered side of the street for the next 24 hours.

“We have to look at the parking issues and determine whether we can get city and private plows in a position to do clearing in an efficient manner,” said city spokesman Bob Van Amburgh. “Our city streets are in good shape with the main thoroughfares down to the bare pavement.”

Waterford and Green Island also issued snow emergencies.

Schenectady got about 7 inches of snow while areas west of Schenectady got a trace, Villani said. “Schenectady was on the western envelope of where the steady snowfall occurred,” he said.

City of Schenectady Director of Operations Sharon Jordan said the city does not plan to declare a snow emergency. “We are handling it. It is blowing around a lot, and we have had much worse,” she said.

Southern Saratoga County got between 6-11 inches of snow while the northern part of the county got 3-4 inches of snow, Villani said.

Hardest hit were areas southeast of Albany — Columbia County, the Berkshires — which received up to 2 feet of snow — and downstate, Villani said.

Airports in New York City cancelled flights, which affected air travel out of and into Albany International Airport, said spokesman Doug Myers. Albany had nine inbound and 18 outbound flights cancelled to major hubs overnight, he said. Flights resumed early Monday but not to the major New York City hubs.

The Capital District Transportation Authority reported delays along all bus routes today. The Thruway prohibited tandem truck operations until further notice from New York City to I-87 Exit 21A, including I-95 New England Thruway and I-287 Cross Westchester Expressway.

The National Weather Service said the blizzard brought the average snowfall for the area up to normal to date, or 17.7 inches. The average snowfall for the season is 62 1/2 inches. Villani said no other storms are expected through the end of December. The storm brought the first significant snowfall this winter season.

Kate Michener of Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam said the ski center got about 10 inches of snow overnight. The new snow added to the center’s existing snow base of between 6 inches and 36 inches. “We are good for the season,” she said.

The center was busy Monday, despite the wind chill. “The lines have been going all day. Skiers know how to dress for the conditions. This is nothing in the grand scheme of things,” she said.

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