Blizzard Pounds Putnam
Rarely do snowstorms live up to the hype, but this Christmastime blizzard was everything the weatherman promised and more. Flights are postponed, trains are down, and people all over the tri-state area are isolated in a bunker of snow. Some areas around Manhattan have been blanketed by over two feet.
Accumulations in Philipstown reached roughly 13 inches--and 18 inches in some higher elevations. Local highway crews had difficulty with the blowing and drifting snow. A Putnam County sanding truck ran off Route 301 Monday morning.
The monster storm is apparently the result of a low pressure system off the North Carolina coast that strengthened as it moved northeast, the National Weather Service said. According to records, this was the first white Christmas experienced by many parts of the South.
The Federal Aviation Administration says that LaGuardia Airport will reopen December 27 at 4pm and JFK International Airport will open at 6pm.
According to the MTA Metro-North website, limited service has been restored on the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven lines. Trains will operate on a Sunday schedule—running hourly and making all local stops, with some cancellations.
The MTA advises customers to use extra caution when at stations because platforms and staircases may be icy and slippery. Motorists have been urged not to drive unless they absolutely have to.
“MTA New York City Transit began preparations at the beginning of the weekend,” the MTA said in a press release. “Subway personnel prepared de-icers, snow throwers, and additional track sweepers for deployment against what could amount to 16 inches of snowfall and wind-driven drifts of several feet. Maintenance workers have been assigned to 12-hour shifts and managers called in from vacation to deal with the first significant snowfall of the season.”
Terry Polhemus, of Polhemus Construction, which plows many local driveways and private roads, said that the current blizzard did not do as much damage as last February's big storm.
"Last February's big storm came with days of power outages and downed trees which slowed plowing down," she said. "While we didn't see as much of that this storm, we did experience white-out conditions for most of the night, which forced trucks off the road until the early morning, which meant many people did not get plowed out until much later in the day."
Unfortunately for the children of Philipstown, the extreme weather came during their winter break, denying them the thrill of waking up to a snow-day. But rest assured, snowmen will be built, tunnels will be dug, forts erected, and snowballs will be aerodynamically packed.
"A storm such as this should be viewed as a valuable opportunity, especially after the bustle of the Christmas season," said a Cold Spring resident who was seen throwing a snowball. "It's a chance for all the grown-ups out there to slow down, take a deep breath, and act like a kid for a couple of days. Forget about politics and whatever other nonsense tends to distract us from what is important, and let your sons and daughters know you were organizing snowball fights well before they were even a glint in your eyes."
The PCN&R has left a voicemail for Cold Spring Mayor Seth Gallagher to obtain further details on the situation in the village.
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