GREENFIELD — Schools and municipal offices closed throughout Franklin County ahead of the latest late winter nor’easter, but the snow total was less than expected by the end of Tuesday in some areas.
At least one town reported total snowfall of 11 inches, but in places like Greenfield, the Department of Public Works found itself using nothing but salt to combat what could be the final snowstorm of the year.
According to Greenfield Department of Public Works Director Donald Ouellette, the storm was considered a non-event by his department, and even though City Hall was closed, his department still collected trash and also had personnel out recording water meter readings.
Ouellette said salt had been suitable for most of the areas to melt whatever snow could have collected on the ground.
“We’re not plowing, or if we are, it’s in very isolated areas,” he said.
According to Wayne Rockwood, owner of Wayne’s Landscaping in Greenfield, he and his company were tasked with snow removal in several areas, but in Greenfield he was yet to use a shovel as of Tuesday afternoon. Instead, rock salt has been melting the snow in the areas he had managed since the morning hours.
According to both Ouellette and Rockwood, part of why the snow didn’t collect was due to the relatively warm temperature of the pavement. In addition, Ouellette noted that traffic on roadways also helped to keep roads clear.
And while the snow in Greenfield was minimal, several children and parents took advantage of what was left of winter.
“It was a nice day off for me from work. A bonus weekend day,” Robin Keeler of Greenfield said.
Keeler was with her children at Beacon Field Tuesday afternoon, sledding down the hill below Poet’s Seat Tower along with several other parents and kids.
Siblings Asa and Amelia Bouchard of Greenfield were among those at the hill, repeatedly sledding down and launching off a snow-packed jump in front of their mother, Kristina Bouchard.
Asa, 6, said the snow day was “amazing,” while Amelia, 8, called it “awesome.”
Not all areas were hit as lightly as Greenfield, however.
According to meteorologist Alan Dunham of the National Weather Service, at least three towns in Franklin County experienced snow totals of 6 inches or more. According to the National Weather Service, 11 inches was reported in both East Hawley and Rowe, with 6 inches in Leyden.
Totals across Massachusetts also varied widely. A total of 2.7 inches was reported in Springfield at 3:05 p.m., and Amherst reported 3.1 inches at 3:45 p.m. Meanwhile, 9.6 inches was reported in Worthington at 11:45 a.m., and in Milford, where the state saw one of the biggest snow totals, 20 inches was reported at 3:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
Dunham said the lower snowfall amounts in the Connecticut River Valley occurred because the region was “shadowed” by bands created by the Berkshire Mountains to the west and the Worcester hills to the east, as well as storm winds from the northeast.
Dunham said Franklin County could expect as much as another 1 to 3 inches through the overnight hours Tuesday, though the shadowing could result in lower totals. He also said snow squalls and showers are expected to occur until tonight.
Regarding motor vehicle accidents across the area, police reported minimal activity. One incident in Franklin County that occurred was a jack-knifed tractor-trailer on Interstate 91 North just after exit 24 around 9:10 a.m., according to Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Dave McKearney of the Shelburne barracks. No other vehicles were involved, and no injuries were reported.
Otherwise, McKearney said his department received no reports of incidents in the area. He said residents either stayed off the road or traveled cautiously.
Similarly, Greenfield, Montague and Athol reported no incidents due to the weather, while Deerfield police reported one vehicle was driven off the road.
You can reach Dan Desrochers at:
413-772-0261, ext. 257