2013-12-12 / Front Page

Evening commute miserable as snow sends cars skidding

Eric Gross

Winter hasn’t yet officially arrived yet many Putnam residents are already fed up with frozen precipitation that wreaked havoc across the county on two separate occasions in the past few days.

Chase Montouri had another day off from school on Tuesday but the six year old boy didn’t seem to mind a bit while using his sled in Cornwall Meadows in Patterson. Photo/Eric GrossChase Montouri had another day off from school on Tuesday but the six year old boy didn’t seem to mind a bit while using his sled in Cornwall Meadows in Patterson. Photo/Eric Gross

Last Saturday morning the snow began falling and by the time it ended 24 hours later, the region was buried in white.

The National Weather Service reported 7.5 inches of snow in Kent Cliffs, 6.7 inches in Cold Spring, 6.5 inches in Putnam Valley and 6.2 inches fallen in Mahopac.

State, county and local police reported dozens of skidding accidents, several with personal injury.

Patterson FD personnel were summoned to Pawling to assist at a structure fire off Route 22. Another commercial fire kept Brewster firefighters busy at an industrial complex off Route 6 near the Danbury line.

The Carmel Fire Department and Carmel Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to a report of a cardiac arrest off Stoneleigh Avenue resulting from a man shoveling snow.

State Police reported a personal injury roll-over crash on the Taconic State Parkway near the Route 301 interchange in Kent Cliffs. Carmel Police investigated a personal injury crash on Fair Street in the S-turn north of Carmel High School as well as a child struck by a car in Mahopac Saturday evening when a car skidded out of control and ran over the child’s leg. The boy was taken by ambulance to the Westchester Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

A two car crash on Peekskill Hollow Road in Putnam Valley sent two people to the hospital while a man was injured in a single car mishap on Route 9D in Garrison.

On Monday, Mother Nature gave the region a reprieve with sunshine but on Tuesday, the cruel winter returned with arctic cold and more snow closing schools for the third time before the holiday break that begins on Friday.

While snowfall accumulations were in the 2-5 inch range, the cold temperatures prevented melting and resulted in icy conditions that contributed to dozens of vehicle mishaps from Carmel to Cold Spring.

Commuters found frustrating, long and dangerous trips home Tuesday evening. A normal 40 minute commute for a young Patterson woman turned into a three hour adventure: “I have never seen it so bad. Traffic was moving no faster than 25 mph the entire trip and not a salt or sand truck in sight. Cars were skidding all over the place.”

The Putnam Legislature canceled its Physical Services and Rules Committee meetings Tuesday evening and added the business that was to have been covered to Friday’s year-end meeting of the legislature scheduled for 5 p.m.

Local business owners lamented the storms since traffic which is normally hectic a week before Christmas was very light due to the inclement weather.

The owner of a liquor store in Carmel looked around at her inventory and shook her head when only two customers were purchasing holiday gifts: “My store is usually hopping this time of the year. To lose a day of business like this really hurts.”

The normally busy Carmel Florist was quiet as was a dress store, appliance center and even a coffee shop at the Putnam Plaza. “No one is out shopping,” said a clerk at the Carmel Dollar Store.

The Carmel Diner which is a busy place with families enjoying a late breakfast or early lunch was empty. “This really hurts,” said the restaurant’s proprietor.

Earlier story, 8:30 am Tuesday:

Police are reporting a rash of accidents this morning caused by the steady snow and arctic cold.

Interstates 84 and 684 are snow covered with traffic moving slowly while Routes 6, 9, 9D, 52, 301, 22 and 311 are also reported to be extremely slippery this morning.

Four crashes have involved sports utility vehicles. The Tinker Hill Road section of Putnam Valley is reported to be extremely dangerous with multiple crashes reported.

Due to the inclement weather, the Carmel School District which originally announced an early dismissal has now cancelled classes for the day joining Putnam’s five other public schools.

Two other cancellations have been reported on the western side of the county: Philipstown Recreation has called off its activities for the day while the Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Cold Spring has also closed.

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Weekly Quotation

“What is written is written and the finger of time having writ moves on.” ~The Cold Spring Recorder, Dec. 10, 1937