Nor’easter blankets region, closing shops, causing accidents

© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Nor’easter that promised 18 inches of snow for New York has fizzled, but it’s keeping its promises to the New England coast … and Vermont. The snow started in most of the area around 6 a.m. Tuesday and by nightfall hadn’t let up since. See photo gallery below.

At the Chester Fire Department, Assistant Fire Chief Ben Whalen and Capt. Steve Vertefeuille said that they had the tire chains on the two pumpers and were ready to go. Whalen expected auto accidents and some trees falling on wires, so he brought some work into the station where he and Vertefeuille were standing by.

Meghan Austin of the Chester Ambulance service said there’s not a lot to do in a snowstorm except switch the ambulance over to four wheel drive and go.

Lisai’s Chester Market announced that it would close at 3 p.m. And Londonderry and Chester closed their town offices early due to the storm. But a clerk at the Chester Sunoco said he intended to be there till midnight.

In Londonderry, the snows continued as night fell, with estimates around 13 inches. Although Road Forman Duane Hart was still on duty, he was unable to drive a plow truck due to an injury, so plowing of town roads took longer.

The clerks at Londonderry Hardware were timing the state plow trucks so that they could close the store and follow the plows home.

Bonnie Stowell, a cashier at Clark’s Quality Foods, said their customers have been coming in steadily all day, often stopping by on their way home from work.

The deli in Clark’s closed at 4 p.m. while the store itself stayed open till 6.

People’s Bank closed at noon. Jake’s Restaurant, Green Mountain Pharmacy, the All-American Grill, Wayne’s Auto Repair, the Garden Restaurant and Market, Mike and Tammy’s Food Market all either closed early, or did not open at all.

By nightfall, and with the road crew down one person and one truck, main roads had been plowed, but secondary roads such as Parson’s Lane and West River Street had not. Even plowed roads continued to face the onslaught of more snow, making driving a challenge.

Since late morning, State Police have been dashing around the interstate trying to keep up with a number of accidents – most without major injuries. In several cases, troopers have determined that visibility isn’t even good enough to be able to pull cars back onto the road safely. So if troopers feel that cars are far enough out of the way to not pose a hazard, they are leaving the vehicle until Wednesday, putting it on a to-tow list and giving those who were in the vehicle a courtesy ride off the interstate.

There was spotty power outages in the region — a home here or there. But as of 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, the closest outage was in Townshend and consisted of 20 buildings. Up north, however, was a different story, though not too terrible: 643 customers in 12 towns covered by Green Mountain Power.

State Police are also recommending that people not drive unless absolutely necessary and asking them not to call 911 to get road conditions.  Dispatchers are already busy handling emergency calls. Instead, visit http://vtstatepolice.blogspot.com/ or http://vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/winter for road information or call 2-1-1.

— Bruce Frauman and Shawn Cunningham

Click any photo to launch the gallery

 

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