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Weather ‘really not that bad’

Weather ‘really not that bad’

The mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain that caused dozens of minor accidents on the Northway on Fr
Weather ‘really not that bad’
Ice forms Friday evening on tree branches at a quiet Saratoga Race Course off Union Avenue.
Photographer: Bruce Squiers

The mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain that caused dozens of minor accidents on the Northway on Friday will be a thing of the past today, the forecasters say.

The National Weather Service in Albany said Friday night that the temperature should remain above freezing all night and into today, when it could rise to 40 degrees in Schenectady and Albany.

In northern Saratoga County and the Adirondacks it will be somewhat cooler.

A new weather system coming out of the west will bring drier weather and even a little sunshine today.

George Maglaras, a meteorologist with the weather service, said the temperature most of Friday afternoon was right at the freezing point.

However, it was warm enough aloft to keep ice from building up on the power lines.

“The ice accumulation stayed just below the level that causes power outages,” Maglaras said.

By 8 p.m., he said, the temperature in Albany had risen to 33 degrees and would remain above freezing all night.

The weather service reported about a half-inch of snow Friday morning in Albany but between four and five inches of snow in Glens Falls and points north.

About noon the snow changed to sleet in the North Country and freezing rain or just rain in the Capital Region.

Schools were closed in many parts of the region, and some businesses released their employees early because they were afraid of rain freezing on the roadways.

National Grid reported very few power outages in its sprawling eastern region.

“It’s warm enough to keep it rain,” said Al Bianchetti, a National Grid spokesman.

However, the National Weather Service still kept a freezing rain advisory in effect for Schenectady, Albany and southern Saratoga County until 11 p.m.

The power company had extra repair crews on standby Friday night just in case the temperature dropped and ice started bringing down power lines, Bianchetti said.

Trooper Matthew Spring at the Wilton state police station said early Friday evening that numerous cars were off the Northway and troopers were helping with rollover accidents at Exit 16 in Wilton and Exit 17 in Moreau.

Spring said the troopers in his zone investigated 25 accident Friday, most of them on the Northway and most of them minor.

A woman was taken to an area hospital after a multiple car accident late Friday afternoon on Route 197 in the town of Moreau. Police said the injuries were not life threatening.

Police agencies reported no serious accidents from Friday’s storm.

“It’s really not that bad,” said Sgt. Michael Welch of the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

Welch said city police had investigated six weather-related accidents all day Friday with three of the minor property damage accidents happening after 3 p.m.

State police in Duanesburg said there were weather-related accidents on Interstate 88 and on some roads in Schoharie County but none were serious.

Dispatchers called first responders to numerous accidents in Montgomery County on Friday but authorities said only minor injuries resulted.

Firefighters were called to several accidents including a van in a ditch off state Route 30 near Belldons Road in the town of Florida about 11:19 a.m. followed by a car hitting a guide rail and leaking fuel about 12:50 p.m.

Several vehicles left the New York State Thruway on the east and westbound lanes between Canajoharie and Amsterdam. A trooper at the State Police in Fultonville said there were at least six crashes reported during the day.

A vehicle rolled over near the steep hill at Swart Hill Road in the town of Amsterdam, and Cranesville firefighters were called to the scene. Accidents were also reported on Northern Boulevard in Amsterdam.

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