Press-Republican

February 6, 2013

Weather Channel in Lake Placid

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — LAKE PLACID — Extreme Weather crews from the Weather Channel broadcast live in Lake Placid Tuesday.

True to form, the sub-zero temperature did not disappoint, dipping to minus 3 degrees before 9 a.m.

Weather Channel on-air personality Stephanie Abrams talked local extreme sports and festival preparation and discussed the forecast for the upcoming Empire State Games and World Cup Luge competition, standing outside the bobsled run at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

The national television team also taped interviews with Jeff Dickson, chairman of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, from the Ice Palace, as carnival events continued for the 116th-annual celebration. Film footage also showed part of the Snowball Toss last Saturday.

EXCITEMENT

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau indicated that national coverage fit right in with the enormous slate of events taking place this week in his village and the surrounding region.

Winter Carnival is in full swing. The hotels and motels are booked to capacity. The Empire State Games begin Thursday. Luge competition starts up Friday with the Viessmann Luge World Cup competition.

“Even in midweek, there’s still lots of carnival spirit in Saranac Lake, excitement and fun going on every day and night as we gear up for the Gala Parade on Saturday,” Rabideau said Tuesday.

‘PERFECT DAY’

Abrams interviewed Olympic Regional Development Authority press spokesman Jon Lundin and took a trial lap on the luge track.

After the broadcast, Lundin said the coverage was a good fit for extreme sports in an extreme winter climate, although the weather was picture perfect, showing pristine white snow and ice glistening under a deep blue sky.

“This day was sparkling perfect, a Chamber of Commerce day,” he said. “For viewers to see the beauty of this area, it’s a shot in the arm, no doubt, not only for Lake Placid, but for the region: Saranac Lake with the Winter Carnival, of course for USA Luge and the Empire State Winter Games. 

“This is some great exposure, really, for everything there is to do in the region.”

THE RIGHT SITE

Abrams seemed to be having a good time, reveling in the Olympic village and environs. Crews had been there through much of the weekend.

“Stephanie got to slide on the luge track and hang out with Erin Hamlin (two-time women’s Luge Olympian). She likes to try new and extreme things,” Lundin said. “And luge is the fastest sport on ice.”

Asked by the weather anchors during the broadcast what she liked most about Lake Placid, Abrams said, “It is kind of like asking who your favorite kid is.”

She told Paul Varga at local radio station WSLP that the idea was to capture an extreme winter sports experience, and they came to Lake Placid to find it.

She admitted it was fun to do a feature story on occasion. 

Abrams often reports from the thick of hurricane strike zones and other significant weather events.

“I’ve seen it so much that I know how to respect Mother Nature,” she told radio listeners.

POSSIBLE SNOWSTORM

At minus 3 degrees, the bright morning was still extremely cold.

“Something like this is fun; you bundle up,” Abrams said. “… when you go through something like Katrina, you feel the urge to tell their (human) story ... getting the word out to try to help the people.”

She also took a spin around Mirror Lake on a dogsled from Thunder Mountain tours.

The Weather Channel broadcast live all morning Tuesday from the frosty Adirondacks as part of “Extreme Winter Week” coverage.

“Everyone cross your fingers for me,” Abrams said, hoping the live camera would catch a fast glimpse of lugers sliding on the track behind her at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

Amid live feed events, the Weather Channel came out with the first incoming report of possible heavy snowstorm in the forecast for northern New York and New England.

Email Kim Smith: kdedam@pressrepublican.com