2017-03-15 / Front Page

The Big Storm, then the Big Dig

County govt, schools closed on Wednesday
By Eric Gross & Douglas Cunningham


Dogsled was indeed one of the best ways to get around Cold Spring on Tuesday. Few cars ventured out. A couple of cross-country skiers were seen on Main Street. Walking was treacherous, due first to the great depths of snow (18” across the county) and, underneath, roadways and sidewalks were slick. More photos on our Facebook page. 
Douglas Cunningham Dogsled was indeed one of the best ways to get around Cold Spring on Tuesday. Few cars ventured out. A couple of cross-country skiers were seen on Main Street. Walking was treacherous, due first to the great depths of snow (18” across the county) and, underneath, roadways and sidewalks were slick. More photos on our Facebook page. Douglas Cunningham

The Blizzard of 2017 crippled the Putnam region and its aftermath is being felt for the second day in succession. ALL public schools throughout the county as well as Putnam governmental agencies and the county’s municipal transportation system are shuttered again today.

County Executive Mary Ellen Odell told the Courier and PCNR early Wednesday that while the county escaped Winter Storm Stella without any major incident or tragedy, the “clean up will take some time to complete. Municipal workers have been on the job around-the-clock plowing the heavy snow. Now the mounds of white must be removed from parking areas with front-end loaders and dump trucks.”

Odell also commended the region’s emergency services providers including, police, fire and EMS personnel: “These brave men and women left their homes to man fire stations and ambulance headquarters in the event their services were needed. Our local police did a remarkable job as well. Sheriff Don Smith and his department along with members of the Carmel, Kent, Cold Spring and Brewster Police Departments all deserve a gold star for their efforts … and let’s not forget about the dedicated members of the State Police who patrolled our roads as well.”

All schools in Brewster, Carmel, Garrison, Haldane, Mahopac, North Salem and Putnam Valley are closed today.

Other schools deciding to cancel classes for the second day in succession include: John F. Kennedy High School in Somers, Lakeland and Yorktown Districts. Schools in Pawling and Somers are closed along with Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES, St. James School in Carmel, St. Lawrence Pre-School in Brewster, Pine Grove Country Day School in Mahopac, Green Chimneys Schools in Kent and Putnam Lake, Hudson Valley Christian Academy in Mahopac Falls, Putnam Head Start and the Manitou School in Cold Spring.

Colleges closed for the day include Western Connecticut State University, Vassar College and Mt. St. Mary College with classes at Dutchess Community College and Westchester Community College opening late today.

Putnam Area Rapid Transit, the county’s municipal bus system, will not be operating today. New York State Courts in Putnam are also closed today.

Metro-North officials announced early Wednesday the railroad is operating on a modified weekday schedule with customers being advised to “expect crowded trains and delays.” Putnam Senior Citizens centers in Carmel, Cold Spring, Mahopac and Putnam Valley are closed again today.

Earlier story, late Tuesday: The last southbound MetroNorth train on the Hudson line pulled into Cold Spring at 10:52 am Tuesday, driving through swirling snow and a biting wind to Grand Central. Thereafter, Metro- North shut down service on both lines through Putnam County, and the governor closed Interstate 84 to all traffic at 1 pm.

Winter Storm Stella was getting our attention.

County and local authorities reported few untoward issues, due to extensive warnings and preparation beginning several days ago. Schools, most businesses and most public agencies shut down; superintendents made their decision Monday evening, in fact. In Cold Spring, village crews began work overnight Monday and early Tuesday – and kept the plowing up continuously through the day. Extensive drifting continued throughout Tuesday, with the wind even accelerating as the day wore on. At the Hudson River waterfront, the wind positively howled Tuesday morning.

Only a few businesses opened downtown, Cold Spring Pizza, Ming Moon Chinese Takeout and the Garden Café among them.

In general, people stayed home, allowing road crews to plow, salt and sand the state, county, town and village arteries.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency at midnight Monday, and a series of progressively more severe restrictions began. By midday, it was clear that even though Putnam seemed in the teeth of the blizzard, the Southern Tier and Binghamton area were being hit far worse.

And Tuesday night, superintendents agreed to cancel all classes Wednesday, as well. Train service was expected to resume Wednesday AM on both lines.

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