Winter's first major storm deposits 12 inches of snow on Warwick

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    National Weather Service issued an ominous warning: "This is a life-threatening winter situation." The severe weather alert forecast blizzard conditions which it defined as heavy snow accompanied by winds in excess of 35 mph. It later described the blizzard of 2005 as one of the 10 worst recorded. However, according to Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, the storm's impact on the local area was less severe than areas much further north and east. "We didn't have the high winds and the accumulation that was forecast," he said. "Warwick only had about 12 inches of snow but drifting was a problem in some of the open areas and we had to have a delayed school opening on Monday to clear those roads." The long duration of the storm, however, placed a burden on road crews, which worked through the night from Saturday to Sunday afternoon as temperatures fell below zero. There were also lines at the gas stations and at least one station ran out of regular gas. But the good news was that since the storm occurred on the weekend, most people did their grocery shopping early and then stayed at home. Warwick Police Chief Thomas McGovern Jr. reported that there were no major incidents as a result of the storm. Many of the shops and restaurants closed early on Saturday. Mt. Peter Ski Area also shut down early. Fresh snow is always welcome and skiers and snow boarders didn't mind but for safety, the area closed because road conditions were such that they might slow or prevent a response by an emergency vehicle. The next day, however, the ski conditions were excellent with all trails open.