Press-Republican

Local News

February 9, 2013

Hello Nemo

Skiers rejoice, cancellationsabound in North Country

PLATTSBURGH — Cars slid off snowy roads, schools closed, events were canceled and, in the Adirondacks, skiers cheered.

Winter Storm Nemo blew in and kept blowing on Friday.

“We have 6 inches of snow so far,” Wilmington’s Highway Superintendent Bill Skufca said Friday morning, “and 12 inches over a 24-hour period isn’t a challenge to us.

The National Weather Service upped snowfall rates as two weather systems collided to form Nemo about 11 a.m. Friday. 

What looked like an eye began to form in the coiled clouds off the Outer Banks.

Instead of expecting an inch of snow per hour, the Weather Service said some areas in the North Country could see twice as much accumulate in the same amount of time.

BIGGEST SO FAR

Skufca said the town crews would run Wilmington’s plow trucks nonstop. There aren’t extra drivers to work a rotation; five plow drivers and four trucks clear 56 lane-miles of road.

“You actually have to double that because we clear both sides,” he said.

“Trucks in Wilmington have a three-hour route and then start over. What we try to do is knock off around 11 p.m. and come back in for 4 a.m.,” the highway superintendent advised.

Towns often do a lot of clearing for the county and state roads, especially in Essex County, he said.

“We take care of Route 86 from Jay to Wilmington and Route 31 to the Toll House on Whiteface. St. Armand’s picks up from there. We’re just going to work until it stops snowing.”

Though this was the biggest storm his crew had to cope with this winter, Skufca said, “it’s not requiring a lot of extra work for us.

“(And) it’s just as expensive to go and clean up a storm that gives us 6 inches of snow in 12 hours as it is to clear 14 inches in the same amount of time,” he said. 

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