Press-Republican

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February 15, 2014

Winter storm Pax doesn't tax veteran snow crews after recent blizzard

Winter storm Pax doesn't tax veteran snow crews after recent blizzard

PLATTSBURGH — While Winter Storm Pax shut down SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, the campus remained a beehive of activity as snow-removal mode kicked in.

“We have been at it since 3 a.m.,” Supervisor of Grounds Francis Dashnaw said Friday afternoon. “Now we are finally getting ahead.” 

The 265-acre campus includes 2.1 miles of roads, 9 miles of sidewalks and 536,895 square feet of parking lots, and the aim is keeping them clean and safe.

Outdoor stairways (there are 42 buildings on campus) are a tough job, he said, since it is necessary to shovel and salt them several times throughout the day. 

The Grounds Department has to prioritize its snow-removal efforts, and at the top of the list is the University Police building. From there, crews move on to roadways and other facilities. 

“Thank you to the faculty and staff who helped out with the effort,” Dashnaw said. 

As more snow was forecast for today, he expected crews would be up early again, repeating the process.

‘PHENOMENAL JOB’

The heavy snowfall overnight Thursday into Friday morning caused school cancellations throughout the region, including Clinton Community College and North Country Community College.

But by midday, it seemed like just another normal North Country winter day.

“It’s pretty much normal operations here,” Plattsburgh International Airport Manager Chris Kreig said.

Flights to Boston and back on PenAir were canceled Thursday night as the storm began, but other than that, all flights from points south arrived and departed without incident Thursday night and Friday during the day, he said.

“We had some that were delayed coming in for some reasons, but they all came and went,” Kreig said.

“I’ve got to hand it to our maintenance crews. When a storm comes in, they are out there clearing snow and getting this place ready to go. 

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