By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
Nemo hit Montgomery County Friday evening, leaving behind freshly packed snow on Saturday, clear and sunny skies, and tons of powdery hills for the kids to play on.
Ian Lee, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Center in Albany, said Saturday afternoon that Nemo ended up bringing exactly what they were expecting.
“We were expecting in the Amsterdam area anywhere between eight to 14 inches of snow,” Lee said. “Based off of the reports that we’ve gotten, we did a good job with the forecast.”
New legislation was passed on Feb. 5 in the city of Amsterdam enacting new winter parking rules when snow emergencies are declares, and Nemo was the first test of the legislation’s strength.
Amsterdam Police Chief Gregory Culick said Saturday evening that parking compliance from residents between this storm and the last was like night and day.
“We had great compliance really from residents,” he said. “I think we ended up only towing four cars.”
Culick said this storm was the “test run” for how the legislation would hold up, but between doing a flyer campaign across the city about the new rules and utilizing the “hyper-reach” phone call system over at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office — that calls homes on targeted streets until they pick up and informs them of the snow emergency — “people got the message.”
Only a few minor accidents were reported in the city, he said.
“There was a ton of complaints that last time,” Culick said, referring to the last storm. “This time everybody was very happy.”
The snow emergency was lifted as of 6 p.m. Saturday.
Schools were closed Friday, though the snow did not start arriving until after regular end-of-the-day school hours, giving the students a three-day weekend.
On Saturday, nearly every well-known sledding hill in Amsterdam was filled with kids and parents riding toboggans, inner tubes, and saucers, flying down the hillsides with rosy cheeks and noses and smiles galore.
There watching their 4-year-old daughter Arwen sled down the hill near the Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy Saturday afternoon were Annie and Erwin Sell.
Annie Sell said the weather came just as expected and as a student nurse it was a nice day off on Friday to start the weekend.
“It’s beautiful,” she said. “We really look forward to snow. We love it; we really do.”
Erwin Sell called the blanket of snow “a blessing.”
“With beautiful skies, we can play around all day.”
Over at the National Weather Service Center, Lee said though it would be clear skies, the wind would stay throughout Saturday as the storm exited the west coast.
Temperatures were near zero Saturday night into Sunday.
Lying ahead for the week, Lee said they are looking at a system Monday into Monday night, but there is still some uncertainty as to what type of precipitation they might see.
“We are still trying to figure out exactly what dominant precipitation type will fall,” he said, but added that by later Monday afternoon it should transition into rain.