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Snowstorm Headed for Berkshires Downgraded

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Update Feb. 18: the forecast is now for 3 to 6 inches across the Berkshires with slightly higher amounts in the higher elevations. Snow will start falling in the Southern Berkshires between 2 and 4 p.m. and is expected to reach North Berkshire this evening. Light snow will continue through Friday and may cause icy and slippery conditions. A winter weather advisory is in effect for all of the Berkshires. 
 
  • Pittsfield has declared a snow emergency beginning Thursday at 7 p.m.  with cars parked on the even side until Friday 7 p.m., when they should switch to the odd side. 
  • Adams is warning motorists not to park on streets or in municipal lots beginning noon on Thursday through noon on Saturday.

MassDOT is urging caution if travelling, as inclement weather may impact the morning and evening commutes and may change in intensity depending on time and region. 

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The wintry weather that's smashed the power grid in Texas leaving millions in the cold and dark is moving into the Northeast, but hopefully not causing as much damage. 
 
Depending on the forecaster, the Berkshires are in line for anywhere from 4 to 12 inches of snow. A winter storm watch is in effect for the Berkshires, Southern Vermont, New York and Connecticut from Thursday morning through Friday evening. Total accumulations of heavy snow may be 4 to 8 inches, according to the National Weather Service bureau in Albany, N.Y., with the heaviest snowfall southward. 
 
Schools are out this week but snow emergencies are expected to be called, with Adams posting the first notice warning motorists not to park on streets or in municipal lots beginning noon on Thursday through noon on Saturday. 
 
"This storm and its predecessor a couple of days earlier, accompanied by once-in-a-generation outbreak of frigid air, has left behind an absolute mess in the South Central states and is on the move," AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said on Wednesday, adding that 73.2 percent of the lower 48 U.S. is covered in snow, and we will build on the existing amount of snow on the ground with this storm." 
 
The storm is expected to move into our region sometime after noon. Accuweather says the heaviest snow is forecast to slide south of northern and western New York state and northern New England and that Boston may end up on the northern edge of the heavy snow with 4-8 inches.

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North Adams Council to Review Hydrant Ordinance Next Week

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday referred an ordinance change regarding fire hydrants to the General Government Committee over the originator's protests. 
 
City Councilor Jason LaForest had initially submitted the proposal for the creation of a "Fire Hydrant Division" with a request to refer to his Public Safety Committee but on Tuesday night instead asked it be fast-tracked to publication and a second reading. 
 
The rest of the council balked at taking a shortcut in the process, rejecting the motion and voting 8-1 to send the language to the General Government with only LaForest voting no. 
 
The ordinance relates to issues regarding non-functioning fire hydrants and how information is shared between the Water Department and police dispatch. Two recent fires highlighted problems with the hydrants; officials say about 130 of the 631 hydrants in the city are nonfunctioning in some way. The city has been working for a decade to address faulty hydrants of which nearly half had been dysfunctional back in 2011. 
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