Washington County was under a state of emergency Thursday after a nor’easter dumped more than 3 feet of snow on some parts of the county Wednesday night into Thursday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a state of emergency order for 18 counties, including Washington County and Saratoga County in this region, shortly before noon Thursday, just hours after Samuel Hall, the chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, issued an emergency order of his own for the county.
“We have thousands of personnel and pieces of equipment engaged in operations throughout the state and will continue to do everything we can to help communities until the job is done,” Cuomo said. “In the meantime, I am urging all New Yorkers to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel so snowplows and road crews can clear roads as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Washington County rescinded its emergency orders effective 9 p.m. Thursday.
Parts of the county saw more than 3 feet of accumulation before the storm made its way out of the area around noon.
Greenwich reported 38 inches. Salem saw 35 inches and Hartford had 30 inches of accumulation, according to the National Weather Service.
In Salem, a barn at Ray View Farm collapsed due to the weight of the snow, trapping dozens of animals inside.
Evera Sue Clary, the town’s supervisor, said the animals were rescued with the help of neighbors, but noted the town was hit hard by the storm.
“It’s a lot of snow,” she said. “I don’t remember ever having (a storm) like this and I’ve lived here all my life.”
Clary said cleanup will likely take some time, but noted the process was made easier because neighbors in the farm community have been using tractors to help clear side roads and dig out driveways.
She’s encouraging residents to clear their roofs and help out where they can.
Temperatures are expected to remain cold. The high temperature for Friday will be about 29 degrees.
The brunt of the storm was expected to hit communities downstate, but the storm continued to track north as it drew closer and heavy bands of snow resulted in large amounts of accumulation in a short period.
Southern Warren and Saratoga counties, for example, were supposed to get somewhere in the 8- to 12-inch range.
But Glens Falls saw more than 33 inches, and Moreau had 26.5 inches, according to the Weather Service.
The forecast models seemed to be a little bit off going into the storm, according to Allison Finch, a meteorologist with NewsChannel 13, The Post-Star’s news partner.
“We couldn’t determine exactly how much snow we were going to get,” she said.
Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, the model seemed to shift to about 33 inches of snow for the Albany area but tracked further north than expected, Finch said.
“With high moisture and cold weather, it definitely yielded for some persistent snowfall,” she said.
In Warren County, cleanup efforts continued throughout most of the day, said Don Lehman, a county spokesman.
Crews had prepared for up to 12 inches of accumulation, but encountered snowfall rates of up to 3 inches an hour during the overnight period.
Further north, the snow tapered off, resulting in less accumulation. Warrensburg, for example, reported just 13.5 inches, according to the Weather Service.
Many school districts declared snow days, despite the option for online learning.
The storm snarled traffic on the Northway, which resulted in the state reducing the speed limit to 45 mph so crews could clear the highway.
There were several minor crashes and disabled vehicles reported throughout Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties, though no injuries were reported.
In Glens Falls, Mayor Dan Hall declared a snow emergency until 7 a.m. Friday, prohibiting on-street parking so crews can clear roadways.
Additional parking restrictions are likely in the coming days as the city continues to dig out from the storm.
Glens Falls Fire Chief James Schrammel said people were caught off-guard with the amount of snow that fell Wednesday night into Thursday, but noted many opted to stay home.
“This one, I think, kind of snuck up on us,” he said. “I think we’re trying to do everything the best we can.”
Schrammel added that early-season storms tend to be lighter.
“Usually we get the 1 or 2 inches to get our snowblowers going and get people accustomed to driving,” he said. “This one happened to be a big one.”