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Putnam Live Blog: School Closed Again, Weekend Forecast

Lots of snow in Brewster around noon Thursday (photo provided)
Lots of snow in Brewster around noon Thursday (photo provided)
9:30PM: Brewster Central Schools will be closed Friday, Feb. 14. Carmel and Mahopac will also be closed.

Here is the weekend forecast for Brewster, as provided by the National Weather Service:
  • Friday: A slight chance of snow before 9am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. West wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Friday night: A chance of snow after midnight. Increasing clouds, with a low around 21. West wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Saturday: A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 33. Light and variable wind becoming northwest 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
  • Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 9. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph.
  • Sunday: A slight chance of snow after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Sunday night: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 2.

4:55PM: 
Most roads in Putnam County are now passable, Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker told Patch at about 4:15 p.m. 

The county highway department was "fully mobilized" with twenty crews out plowing by 2 a.m. Thursday, and 10 four-wheel drive vehicles from the sheriff's department were out, too, according to Walker.

By Thursday afternoon, crews had made four full passes on the 117 miles of county road and ensured that critical facilities are clear.

"Obviously our main focus is on the residents' safety, and really our emergency responders' safety in being able to respond to any citizen issues," Walker said. "I think the highway department and the sheriff's department really rise to the occasion in this event. They do just a tremendous service touching on all four corners of the county."

A lot of coordination goes into storm response, Walker said. Officials within the county's Incident Command System first met Tuesday to plan and prioritize. During a meeting Wednesday they decided to close county offices on Thursday and also shut down the transportation system.

Another thing they keep in mind is working with New York State Electric and Gas and Central Hudson Gas and Electric to make sure both companies have the capability to set up staging centers and to "get crews where they have to go." Walker knew of no outages Thursday afternoon.

One thing that made Thursday's response go fairly smooth was that local folks avoided travel.

"Nobody was on the road," Walker said. "The roads were unbelievably lightly traveled as reported back through the sheriff's department and the highway department. That allows us to plow the roads much more easily."

Official meetings will continue as more snow is expected late Thursday or early Friday. The National Weather Service is calling for another four to eight inches of snow and sleet to hit Brewster overnight.

"The real issue is we're runing out of places to put the snow," Walker said, adding that crews are "moving it around" and trying to find places—such as parking lot corners that don't have much value—to dump it.

3:14PM: From the New York State Police: 

State Police have closed Interstate 84 to commercial traffic from the Connecticut state line to the Pennsylvania state line. The decision to impose the ban is not taken lightly.
Conditions on the roadway have deteriorated resulting in two jack-knifed tractor trailers on Greenville Mountain.
In the interest of safety for everyone on the roadway and after consultation with the State Department of Transportation it became necessary for a ban to be put in place. As soon as conditions permit, the ban will be lifted.

1:56PM: MTA Metro-North officials announced the commuter railroad will begin hourly service at 4 p.m. today due to higher-than-predicted snow accumulations of up to 18 inches in its service territory. Metro-North may need to further reduce or suspend service on some portions of its territory if conditions warrant.

Just a third of Metro-North Railroad customers took trains to New York this morning. The railroad’s service plan provides sufficient capacity to get everyone home. The current 75% reduced schedule remains in effect until4 p.m. Changing weather conditions may lead to additional trains being combined.

Metro-North will rely heavily on its diesel fleet. Snow blowers and patrol trains are operating to clear the tracks, but higher-than-predicted rates of snowfall have the potential to affect service.


1PM:
The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for several areas, including Northern Westchester, Putnam and Rockland. It states:

"Heavy snow with near blizzard conditions will continue to impact the lower Hudson Valley and Southern Connecticut through the early afternoon. As of 11:13 a.m., a band of heavy snow with snowfall rates of two to four inches per hour will continue to sit over the area through the early afternoon. Snow will gradually mix with or change to sleet from south to north during this time period. An additional three to six inches of snow are possible through the early afternoon. In addition, wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph are expected, resulting in near-zero visibility. Travel is not recommended through the early afternoon. motorists should exercise extreme caution."

SNOW TOTALS: The National Weather Service reported 3 inches in Kent as of 10:20 a.m.

11AM: MetroNorth is reporting 15-minute delays on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines.

10:45AM: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island regions as a Nor’Easter storm continues to impact parts of the State. Critical resources normally restricted to State use will be mobilized to assist local governments and laws and regulations that would otherwise impede their rapid response are suspended.

“These regions are expected to continue to receive heavy snow that may accumulate at rates of around two to three inches per hour, which will make it difficult for plows to keep some roads clear," Cuomo said in a statement. " New Yorkers should stay off of the roads and remain in their homes until the worst of the storm has passed.”

8:35AM: With snow, rain and sleet in the forecast for the rest of Thursday, plenty of businesses and offices are closed. 

That includes local libraries and all non-essential Putnam County departments. Wings Over Water School of Swimming in Southeast is closed, too, according to this announcement on Patch.

The drug crisis roundtable scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in Mahopac has been postponed.

And here is some useful information shared in the form of Facebook status updates:

Parks & Trails New York X-Country skiing burns 700 calories per hour and snowshoeing burns 550 calories per hour. So get outside and have some fun, and burn some serious calories while you’re at it. 

Playscape of Brewster Playscape will be closed today 2/13/14! Everyone be safe.

Putnam Lake Fire Department Winter Storm Warning in effect! Please stay off the roads! Be safe during the storm! Putnam Lake Fire Department prepared and ready to handle any emergencies during the storm!

Business owners and community members, if you know of a closure or cancellation, share it with your neighbors here.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) February 13, 2014 at 08:34 AM
One more thing: All DMV road and knowledge test appointments are canceled for today because state offices are closed.
Cory J February 13, 2014 at 09:03 AM
This radar image is a little misleading. Most of us are familiar with green meaning rain and blue meaning snow. The NWS radar is more technical. According to this it would mean its raining in NYC, which i can tell you first hand that it is not. That being said; it sucks outside.
kelly curtin February 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Yes this radar is misleading. Please Patch use Hudson Valley Weather for any weather related articles! They are the most accurate and service the Hudson Valley.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) February 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM
That is a NWS radar image.
Cory J February 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM
Correct Lanning. But green and blue represent different things compared to the layman's weather map. http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/northeast.php and here is a definition for Dbz http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/northeast.php Sorry to get all dorky on you...

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