2013-02-07 / Front Page

Most areas clear; train service back on track, after storm

15 inches across county
Eric Gross

Putnamites awakened to nearly a foot and one-half of snow Saturday but residents should feel fortunate since, according to the National Weather Service, sections of eastern Long Island were buried under 33 inches of snow while nearby Shelton, Ct., along Long Island Sound received an amazing 40-inch snow fall.

A ruler shows the snow depth in Carmel from the monster storm. Photo/Eric GrossA ruler shows the snow depth in Carmel from the monster storm. Photo/Eric Gross

Emergency responders spent a relatively quiet night across the county. The Putnam 9-1-1 Dispatch Center received a half dozen calls for ambulances, none storm related.
On Saturday morning, Brewster Rescue Squad personnel were summoned to Oak Street around 7 a.m. for a report of a man found lying in the snow in the front of a private residence. The man was suffering from hypothermia and was taken to Putnam Hospital Center.
Putnam Commissioner of Emergency Services Adam Stiebeling reported no power outages countywide. He also advised that NYSEG and Central Hudson had crews standing by in cased their services are needed today.
Metro North will resume operations on its Harlem and Hudson Lines with trains leaving Grand Central bound for Southeast at 11:48 a.m. and trains departing Grand Central bound for Garrison and Cold Spring at11:45 am.

Earlier story, from 9:45 a.m. Saturday:

Although the snow has stopped, police are encouraging motortists to stay off area roads allowing highway crews on the state, county, town and village levels to remove as much as 15 inches of snow that fell across Putnam County.

Route 311 outside Carmel Friday evening. Photo/Chris LaytonRoute 311 outside Carmel Friday evening. Photo/Chris Layton

Police reported a number of skidding crashes due to slippery road conditions on both the western and eastern sides of the county. One of the mishaps involved a Putnam County Sheriff's Department patrol cruiser. No one was injured. Here's the latest Metro-North advisory regarding the service suspension.

We have these cancellations for Saturday (more below):

Seven Stars School of Performing Arts in Brewster

St. James School in Carmel

Wings over Water School in Brewster
Mahopac National Bank
Putnam Hospital Center Outpatient Rehabilitation
Putnam Arts Council
Putnam Family and Community Services
St. John's School in Mahopac
St. John's School in Pawling

Mark and Bernadette Farrell shovel out in Carmel. Photo/Tom LaytonMark and Bernadette Farrell shovel out in Carmel. Photo/Tom Layton

Late Friday and overnight saw blizzard-like conditions with strong winds, heavy snow and near zero visibility.

Troop K State Police Major Michael Kopy cautioned motorists from doing any unnecessary driving. "If you become stranded in your vehicle, do not abandon it but call 9-1-1 seeking help."
Despite the deteriorating conditions, deliverymen made their rounds Friday afternoon including mail carriers and UPS workers. Larry, a mailman in Carmel, had chains on his mail truck. "I don't need them yet but if things get worse, it's better to be safe than sorry," he said.
A UPS deliveryman making his rounds in the steady snow said road conditions were getting worse: "A few more stops and it's back to my dispatch headquarters in Yorktown," he said.

Major Kopy reported at 4:15 Friday afternoon that all commercial traffic along I-84 from the Pennsylvania line through Orange, Dutchess and Putnam counties was being shut down due to the deteriorating conditions along the interstate.

A UPS deliveryman makes his rounds in Carmel Friday afternnoon as the storm intensifies. Photo/Eric GrossA UPS deliveryman makes his rounds in Carmel Friday afternnoon as the storm intensifies. Photo/Eric Gross
"Large commercial vehicles including trucks over 26,000 pounds, tractors, tractor trailers and buses are not being permitted along the 70 mile stretch of the interstate effective immediately," said the major.


It is said to be a blizzard of historic proportions. As winter storm Nemo bears down on the Northeast, here are the cancellations so far:

These schools are closed Friday:

North Salem
Putnam Valley

St. James in Carmel
Kiwi School in Mahopac
St. Lawrene O'Toole 
Pine Gove Mahopac
Hampton School Mahopac
Wings Over Water Brewster
Hudson Valley Christian Academy Mahopac Falls

NO SERVICE on Putnam Area Rapid Transit
Events cancelled
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef''s Kent Library gathering on Saturday
Putnam Humane Society's fund raisers at the Arts on the Lake and pet Valentine photos in Mahopac and Brewster planned for Saturday.
And these other offices are closed:

Reed Library, Carmel 
Kent Public Library
Putnam Arts Center
Putnam Office for Aging Nutrition Centers and Adult Day Care Programs cancelled
Putnam ARC--No transportation
Brewster Library
Mahopac Library
North Salem Town Court

Here's the latest Carmel forecast.
Metro-North is adding extra trains in early to mid-afternoon, but may suspend service in the evening. More at mta.info. Which means, plan for the return trip or you might be caught in the city.

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SIMA's Eight Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling 

A 2011 study published in the Clinical Research in Cardiology revealed that shoveling snow actually does increase the risk of a having a heart attack. The study looked at 500 people and found that 7% started experiencing symptoms of heart problems while shoveling snow. The cardiologists conducting the Canadian study felt that while 7% is significant, there could be as many as double that number given the fact that the patients may not have connected their heart problems with snow shoveling.

Today, at the start of the 2012-2013 snow season, the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), the national nonprofit organization representing the snow removal industry, is suggesting seven tips for safe snow shoveling.

"While heart attacks may be the most serious consequence of shoveling snow, there are other even more common health risks including dehydration, back injuries, pulled muscles, broken bones and frostbite. But the good news is there are ways to safely shovel snow," said Martin B. Tirado, CAE, Executive Director, SIMA.

Here are SIMA's safe snow shoveling tips:

TIP #1: Stay on top of the snow. No we aren't suggesting that you make snow angels but when there's a heavy snow, the best advice is to stay ahead of the storm. SIMA recommends that to prevent snow and ice from adhering to the sidewalk or street, clear the snow every few inches instead of waiting for the snow to stop falling before you head outdoors.

TIP #2: Wear breathable layers. Layering is typical cold winter weather advice. We suggest wearing layers of loose clothing so you can peal a layer off if you get hot. Avoid wearing heavy wools, manmade materials or other materials that don’t allow perspiration to evaporate. Better choices are cotton and silk.

TIP #3: Watch your feet. No you aren't on Dancing with the Stars, but nonetheless, you need to pay attention to what's on your feet when heading outdoors to shovel snow. SIMA suggests wearing quality outdoor winter wear such as waterproof boots with good traction. Good traction is critical to ensuring that you don't slip and fall.

TIP #4: Take a few minutes to stretch. Shoveling snow is a workout so you need to stretch to warm up your muscles particularly because you are shoveling snow in the cold weather. Stretching before you start shoveling will help prevent injury and fatigue.

TIP #5: Push don't lift. Sounds like something a high school wrestling coach may say but if you push the snow to the side rather than trying to lift the snow to remove it, you exert less energy thereby placing less stress on your body.

TIP #6: Drink up! Water that is. SIMA recommends taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated. You should drink water as if you were enduring a tough workout at the gym or running five miles.

TIP #7: Don't play in traffic. Sometimes people get so focused on the task at hand they don't pay attention to their surroundings. When shoveling snow near streets, pay attention to the traffic since vehicles may not have good traction in the snow and ice.

TIP #8: Call and text. We're not suggesting that you make calls and text while shoveling snow, but it is important to have your cell phone on you so you can make a call in event of an emergency.

Following these seven tips will help ensure that you survive and thrive through winter 2012-2013. For more snow and ice removal tips, visit SIMA.

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Weekly Quotation

‘No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.’ ~Hal Borland