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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Storm Divides County

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Whether Berkshire region drivers faced wet or white roads depended largely on whether they were to the north or south of the Central Berkshire region, with those residing south of Pittsfield receiving the brunt of a Jan. 3 snowfall.

The storm caused almost every Berkshire region school to close or open on a delayed basis; North Adams schools were open.

During the early afternoon, Great Barrington police Officer Paul Montgomery said that town roads were much improved from morning conditions and more “wet” than “white.”

“The roads are OK now, they are just wet,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery estimated that about eight to 10 inches of snow had fallen by early afternoon and noted that another two or three inches of snow were expected to accumulate before the storm ended later during the evening.

Pittsfield police Capt. John O’Neil said that he estimated a four-to-six-inch snowfall had hit the city. Snow had stopped falling as of early afternoon, he said.

“It’s stopped snowing here and the roads are in pretty good shape,” O'Neil said. “There are some puddles, and the temperature is above freezing right now, but if it goes below freezing, any water will freeze and things could get slippery.”

O’Neil said that a few fender-bender accidents occurred during the morning hours.

At the Lee State Police Barracks an officer who identified himself as “Trooper Fox” said that unnecessary travel should be avoided.

“It’s snowing and the roads are not in good condition,” he said. “If I did not have to go out, I would not go out.”

Fox said that he could not estimate total snowfall. The Lee barracks serves the region from the Massachusetts/Connecticut border to the Lenox/Pittsfield border.

At the Cheshire State Police Barracks, Trooper Travis McCarthy said that Northern Berkshire highways patrolled by state police officers “are nothing but wet.”

“In fact, when you get up into the northern sections of North Adams and Williamstown, there’s next to nothing,” he said.

A late morning drive from Pownal, Vt. through Williamstown and to North Adams found very little accumulated snow and wet roads, except for several side roads in Pownal, which were snow-and slush-covered.

Pittsfield has declared a snow emergency through Thursday. Parking is prohibited along all city streets at anytime and is also prohibited in municipal parking lots between midnight and 7 a.m..

Vehicles that are in violation of the snow emergency parking ban will be towed at the owner’s expense. Off-street parking is available at the three-hour public parking areas at the Columbus Avenue parking garage and the McKay Center parking structure. City residents are being asked to clear the sidewalks that abut their properties as well as clear snow from around fire hydrants located near their homes.

A snow emergency has also been declared in Dalton. The emergency began at 1 a.m. Jan. 3 and remains in effect until 7 p.m. Jan. 4. All on-street parking is banned under the emergency and violators will have their vehicles towed at the owner’s expense.

Residents of communities that were hit with significant snowfall should contact their local police departments for information about snow emergencies or snow-related parking bans.

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

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