Photo Gallery l Snowstorm in the Berkshires
The snowstorm that blasted through the Berkshires Wednesday dropped up to a foot of snow, brought much of the county to a near-standstill with schools, some government offices and many businesses shutting down for the day.
The storm was a one-two punch, hitting South County the hardest in the morning, before a brief heavy band of afternoon snow set up over North County.
The first significant snowfall in a month ranged from 6 to 12 inches, slightly below the widespread double-digit prediction of 10 to 14 by the National Weather Service office in Albany, N.Y. On Jan. 3, snow totals were in the 5-to-10 inch category.
With schools and some businesses closed, traffic was light throughout the day with local and state police reporting few if any traffic mishaps.
However, a Pittsfield man shoveling in front of his home late Wednesday morning had a close call with a city snowplow on upper North Street.
Around 11:30 a.m., the man, whose identity has not been released, was struck by snow being pushed aside by the plow vehicle at 1297 North St. The lime green vehicle never made contact with the victim, who was taken to Berkshire Medical center as a precaution, according to Pittsfield police officers at the scene.
Snow emergencies were in effect not only in Pittsfield and North Adams until early Thursday morning, but numerous other communities to allow plows to try to keep up with the storm.
"We put our snow emergency in effect [Wednesday] morning and people stuck to it," added North Adams Highway Superintendent Paul Markland.
The light traffic during a usually busy midday throughout the county made it easy for highway crews to stay on top of the snow removal.
"Enough hype for the storm and that it intensified by daybreak kept many people home and off the roads," said Pittsfield Department of Public Utilities Commissioner Bruce I. Collingwood.
"A lot of people didn't make it to work [here]," added Great Barrington DPW Superintendent Joe Sokul. "Many places were closed or were closing early."
Some arts venues, including the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, closed for the day.
While the snow tapered off by evening, local highway crews kept busy for several more hours clearing the way for a smooth commute this morning.
"We'll keep plowing, including sidewalks, so going to school or work tomorrow shouldn't be a problem," said Lee Assistant DPW Superintendent Dennis Kelly.
A three-day stretch of dry weather, but with below-normal temperatures, is expected for Thursday through Saturday, but another possible snowstorm is being tracked for Sunday into Monday.
To reach Dick Lindsay: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (413) 496-6233
Here are some snow totals reported by the National Weather Service:
- Becket: 12.7 inches
- Lenox: 8.8 inches
- Great Barrington: 8.6 inches
- Pittsfield Municipal Airport:8.3 inches
- Savoy:8.3 inches
- Adams:8 inches
- Alford:8 inches
- Lanesborough:7.5 inches
- Lee:7 inches
- North Adams (Airport): 5.5 inches