More than a dozen people were injured Saturday night in a pileup involving as many as 40 vehicles on the Adirondack Northway between exits 15 and 16.
State police said heavy snow, slick roads and whiteout conditions caused the original pileup, which involved 20 to 30 cars and shut down the southbound lanes for several hours as emergency crews worked at the scene.
Troopers had no definitive count of the number of people taken from the scene to Saratoga and Glens Falls hospitals. “There’s still only an estimate right now, but no serious injuries,” a dispatcher at the Wilton barracks said Saturday night. “It’s still being investigated.”
Seven people were taken to Glens Falls Hospital, according to a nursing supervisor on duty Saturday night, and a few of them were still there late in the evening. Saratoga Hospital would not comment on hospitalizations.
As traffic came to a stop, a few more pileups occurred behind the initial accident.
“There were separate accidents further back, with cars sliding into each other,” the dispatcher said. “There’s probably like 40 cars involved altogether tonight.”
The localized snow might have caught people off guard, said the National Weather Service’s Hugh Johnson, from the Albany station.
“We always say it’s the little stuff when people are out on the roads that causes these big accidents,” he said. “We had an inch of snow up there.” Snow over icy spots likely complicated matters.
Other part of the Capital Region were spared even a snowflake.
The Northway was cleared and the southbound lanes reopened about 7:30 p.m.
The weather did more than make travel difficult in the northern part of the region. According to National Grid, more than 6,000 customers in Saratoga County lost power.
About 3,000 outages were in the town of Greenfield, 1,600 in the town of Milton and about 2,000 in the Saratoga Springs area. Power was restored to almost every customer by 10:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Similar, if not worse, conditions should be expected today, according to Johnson. “This one might be a tiny bit stronger, with a larger area of light snow,” he said.
The chance of snow will increase later in the day.