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Schenectady school officials talk Tuesday closure when others opened: Sloppy streets forced it

Schenectady school officials talk Tuesday closure when others opened: Sloppy streets forced it

Other school districts opened after major snowstorm, but city's roads were not cleared in time
Schenectady school officials talk Tuesday closure when others opened: Sloppy streets forced it
Public Defender Steve Signore walks from Schenectady Police Court along LaFayette Street as the sidewalks were not cleared.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

SCHENECTADY -- As students across the Capital Region returned to school on Tuesday – many after two-hour morning delays – Schenectady city students stayed home for another snow day due to roads still clogged with snow.

Schenectady school Superintendent Larry Spring said the city notified school officials early Tuesday morning that city plows would not be able to clear the roads enough for the district’s school buses to make it down many secondary streets.

“The roads in the city… the city told us they weren’t going to be ready in time for us,” Spring said Tuesday when asked why there was a need to close school a second day.

Spring noted the challenges of clearing Schenectady’s streets, citing narrow roads and on-street parking that slows down the progress of plows.

“I just takes a little while longer in cities to get the streets and the sidewalks [cleared],” Spring said. Tuesday marked the district's third snow day of the school year already.

Districts across the Capital Region called snow days on Monday as one of the largest Albany-area December snowstorms on record blanketed the region. Schenectady County received two feet or more of snow, according to final snowfall tallies from the National Weather Service.

But the snow began to let up around midnight Monday and most municipalities, including Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs and Albany, appeared to have cleared their roads sufficiently for school buses to transport students Tuesday morning.

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy on Monday acknowledged the city’s plowing efforts had been “less than optimal” and reiterated as much on Tuesday. Road crews continued to work clearing the city’s streets throughout the day Tuesday. National Guard trucks could be seen hauling large loads of snow through the city.

The storm, which swept into the region Sunday afternoon, marked the eighth-largest snowfall in Albany on record, according to the National Weather Service. East Glenville recorded 27 inches of snow. Schenectady received nearly 24 inches of snow.

Gazette Reporter Pete Demola contributed to this story.

INFOBOX

Top 10 snowfall totals (according to National Weather Service tally)

Schaghticoke - 27.5 inches 

Clifton Park - 27.2 inches

East Glenville - 27.2 inches

Averill Park - 26.8 inches

East Schodack - 26.2 inches

Glenville - 26 inches

Delmar - 25.7 inches

Princetown - 25 inches

Malta - 25 inches 

Northeast Troy - 24.9 inches 

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