A winter storm with heavy, wet snow led to school closings, canceled public transportation and power outages for almost 9,000 utility customers in parts of Columbia and Greene counties Tuesday.
The storm’s path included much of interior New England, all of upstate New York, Connecticut and parts of Long Island, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.
Snow totals by the time the storm moves out of the region Wednesday were expected to range from 8 to 14 inches in the valley to 10 to 16 inches and possibly as much as 2 feet or more of accumulation in the higher elevations.
“The snow will become less wet as the temperatures fall a bit, but it’s still going to be heavy overall,” local meteorologist Allan Porreca said. “The wind will get gusty, too, so I expect blowing and drifting snow later in the day Tuesday and through Wednesday.”
The storm came at the end of three months with below-average snowfall and a series of elevation-type storms that deposited significant accumulations, slushy, wet precipitation or just rain, depending on the location.
All Greene County offices opened on time Tuesday with regular business hours, except for Greene County Mental Health, which went remote for the day.
Columbia County buildings opened on a two-hour delay because of the storm. Columbia County Public Transportation canceled service for the day. Service was scheduled to resume Wednesday.
Porreca said that 2 inches of snow per hour was falling Tuesday in the higher elevations in Windham and Hunter in Greene County and through eastern parts of Columbia County.
Wet, heavy snow downed power lines and snapped tree branches across Greene and Columbia counties with power outages hitting homes and businesses across the area. More than 3,500 Central Hudson customers in Greene County had no power at mid-day Tuesday, while at the same time in Columbia County, about 5,100 National Grid customers were left in the dark.
Snow was falling especially heavy in Greene County’s mountaintop, where about 2 feet have piled up in Windham and over a foot was measured in Hunter, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.
The snowfall totals will be among the highest of the season, Porreca said.
Greene County snow removal crews were on the highways all night to ensure roads and streets were clear for traffic Tuesday morning, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said.
The county’s Emergency Operations Center was activated so officials could watch the development and progress of the storm overnight, Groden said.
Greene County officials took the forecast of 2 or 3 feet of snow in some areas seriously, Groden said.
“We’re watching the storm and we’ve been watching it,” he said Tuesday morning. “There’s been quite a disparity in the amounts of snow from the mountaintop to the valley. Catskill’s Main Street is clear, but Hunter has a foot and it’s still falling.”
As the moisture content of the snow shrinks, the wind gusts expected to reach speeds of 45 mph or greater will blow the snow around and make for tricky driving Wednesday, Porreca said.
A slight chance of snow remains in the forecast for Wednesday, but otherwise it will be partly sunny with a high near 37 and breezy with gusts as high as 45 mph, Porreca said. Thursday it will be partly sunny with a high near 48.
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