Winter storm approaches Hudson Valley - Columbia-Greene Media: News

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Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 3:55 am

CATSKILL - The first major winter storm of the season is expected to deliver several inches of snow to the Hudson Valley tonight into tomorrow, spurring locals and transportation authorities to brace for the wintery punch.

Greene County will likely see snow starting before midnight, with a mixture of snow, freezing rain and sleet continuing through Thursday for a total accumulation of three to seven inches, according to the National Weather Service. Higher elevations are likely to see greater accumulation, perhaps 10 inches or more.

A winter storm warning is in effect from 7 p.m. today until 7 p.m. Thursday.

With the storm already dropping record snow in the Southern Plains and Ohio Valley, the Greene County Highway Department was busy today preparing for action.

“All of our sand and salt sheds are filled and our trucks are ready to go,” said Superintendent Gary Harvey. “It’s winter in the Northeast— it snows. So, we’re prepared.”

A mild winter last year saved the department on fuel and materials, but Harvey’s not anticipating a repeat. While the area hasn’t seen any significant snowfall yet, Harvey notes, “It’s still early.”

In an average winter, Harvey estimates that the county uses about 10 to 15 thousand tons of salt and sand. In the village of Catskill alone, the highway department uses some 50 to 100 tons per storm, for a total of about 900 tons a year, according to Catskill Village Highway Department Superintendent Lewis O’Connor.

Crews will likely be busy into Thursday, as forecasts call for a wintery mix late into the day, turning to snow after 3 p.m., though little new accumulation is expected.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles recommends carrying emergency supplies in your vehicle, including a shovel, sand, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes. They also recommend carrying a charged cell phone, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and scheduling extra time for slower driving.

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To reach reporter Kyle Adams, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3323, or e-mail kadams@thedailymail.net

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