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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Snowy, Rainy Mess

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Snow-laden tree branches snuggle up against a house along Niles School Road in Pownal, Vt. as a result of a Nor'easter storm.
A wild Nor'easter delivered heavy rains and heavy snows to the Northern Berkshire/Southern Vermont region beginning Oct. 25 and ending Oct. 26, and whether residents woke up to wet, white, or both depended entirely on geographic elevation.

Valley communities received little or no accumulating snow, while mountain towns such as Savoy and Florida were hit with four to six inches of the white stuff. Clarksburg was coated with about an inch and a half of snow.


Niles School Road was closed during the Oct. 26 afternoon due to a downed tree.
Pownal, Vt. was among the communities receiving up to five inches of snow along its' hilly terrains, and as expected, the heavy snow clumped on tree branches and utility lines, causing both to snap and crash to earth in some locations. Power outages were wide-spread in the town and the Pownal Elementary School was closed because of a power outage. Many town residents remained out of electrical power as the Oct. 26 mid-afternoon approached.

There were numerous reports of downed trees; Niles School Road was closed to both lanes of traffic on Oct. 26 when a slender tree came down and blocked the roadway. The road had not been cleared as of 1:30 p.m..

North Adams police reported two pedestrian accidents occurred during the evening of Oct. 25 [see related story], when a mix of rain, sleet and snow pelted the city. Police Director Michael Cozzaglio said that city highway crews were called to duty at about 7:15 p.m. when roads at the city's higher elevations were reported as slick.

In Williamstown, police said that there were no major accidents. The town's highway department workers were called to action at about 7 p.m. to salt several town bridges that had become slippery, police said.

A sweep of snow-covered branches hang dangerously low over a Pownal, Vt. home on Oct. 26.


Adams police reported no incidents during the storm.

"We came through it OK, " said town police diapcther Michael Pisconeri.


Ross Dindio, director of Massachusetts Highway Department District 1, said that about 22 state-owned or state-contracted vehicles were out during the storm. Roads at higher elevations maintained by MassHighway were plowed and coated with sand and salt, Dindio said.
MassHighway workers were also deployed to roadways located in higher elevations on Oct. 22, when a lighter snowfall dusted the mountain communities and caused some slick road conditions, he said.

Several new District 1 trucks are in use and the trucks deposit salt and sand from the front of the truck's rear wheels, as opposed to throwing the material from behind the truck, Dindio said. The new mechanism means that trucks have improved traction as they make their way along icy highways, he said.


Small branches and trees litter the roadsides at higher elevations in Pownal, Vt. following an Oct. 25-26 storm.
Bennington, Vt. police reported some trees were down and scattered power outages. No major problems were reported due to the storm, according to police.

And just as some folks were resigning themselves to signs of an early winter, area weather forcasters reported that over the upcoming weekend, temperatures are expected to climb well into the fifty-degree Fahrenheit range, and could jump to 60 degrees by Monday.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.

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