Good riddance, winter

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2014 at 12:00 am

After months of miserable weather, spring arrives

Photos by Tom Rivers

An ice storm hit on Dec. 22, knocking power out in about half the county. National Grid crews worked hard to have power restored in time for Christmas.

A frequent sight this winter: a plow truck. This photo from Feb. 5 shows a Village of Albion plow truck on on East Park Street. It snowed about 9 inches that day. The county issued a travel advisory and the governor declared a state of emergency for New York due to the big storm.

An ice storm. A blizzard. And many days in the deep cold, with temperatures in the single digits or below. The winter of 2013-14 was the most miserable that I can recall, mainly because we had so many days in the single digits or below. The low temperatures combined with stiff winds made it feel like Antarctica.

The National Weather Service frequently put out warnings and advisories about dangerous wind chills, flood watches and hazardous weather. The Sheriff’s Department issued travel advisories. The governor declared a state of emergency. Local schools closed.

Today, let us celebrate as we bid good bye to winter. We took its best punches and we’re still standing.

Here are a few photos, looking back on the frozen season.

With some of our recent light winters, we’ haven’t had enough snow to go sledding. That wasn’t a problem this year if you could handle the cold temperatures. In this photo on Dec. 15, Melissa Fromm of Albion heads down the hill at Bullard Park in Albion with her niece Mariah Plain on her back and friend Leah Pawlak on the very top.

The snow and ice is dangerous. On Dec. 17, a Brockport man – Daniel L. Hollaert Jr., 23 – was killed after he collided with a full-size school bus owned and operated by the Kendall Central School District. The accident occurred at about 7 a.m. on Ridge Road.

When the temperatures did warm up, the area was often shrouded in fog. The heavy fog seemed to make prominent landmarks nearly disappear. In this photo on Dec. 20, the Glenwood Avenue canal bridge in Medina has almost vanished from the landscape.

The ice storm on Dec. 22 coated branches in ice, and those branches came crashing down, knocking out power. In some cases, entire trees gave out from the weight of the ice. This tree fell at about 2:35 a.m. on Dec. 22 and crashed into the home of Gary Moore and his family on South Main Street in Albion. The tree crashed on the family car and also torn off some siding and damaged the roof of the Moore home.

The winter landscape included a historic high sighting of Snowy Owls. They typically stay in Canada for the winter, but there were many in Orleans County. Vince Flow of Kendall captured this closeup of a Snowy Owl in Kendall on Christmas.

For three days a cat was stranded atop a telephone pole in Waterport. Jeremy Arnold, owner of JG Tree Service, rescued Nora on Dec. 28. “Everybody says it’s just a cat or an animal, but people get attached to their pets,” Arnold said after getting Nora down and handing her to her owner, Venita Nauden.

Brandon Bias and his friend Jacob Rausch, both 15, made a rink on the frozen Erie Canal just east of the Ingersoll Street bridge on Jan. 4. The two, who both play for the Brockport Eagles hockey team, played together for more than two hours on the canal in Albion.

Peggy Barringer of Albion stopped by Point Breeze in Carlton and Lomond Shores in Kendall in early January and captured images of the ice formations by the lake.

Sandy Andrews, a member of the First United Methodist Church in Albion, shovels the steps and sidewalk on Jan. 22, when the temperature peaked at 7 degrees. The church provides a ministry for people taking their driver’s license tests. The drivers and their families are served coffee and provided a warm spot from the cold.

You don’t see this every day: a sun dog. The phenomenon showed up on Jan. 22, appearing like a rainbow. The low-lying sun creates ice halos. Dawn Gardner took this photo in East Shelby on Fletcher Chapel Road at South Woods Road.

There were so many cold days that schools were forced to stay open despite the harsh weather. I took the above photo through the frosted front window of my house on Jan. 23. The Albion school bus stopped to pick up elementary school children.

On Feb. 5 a storm barreled through the county in late morning and all five school districts cancelled after-school activities. Some districts sent students home early. I was out driving that day and it ranks high as the most precarious trip I’ve had in years due to the whiteout conditions. The photo shows Gaines Basin Road looking south from near Ridge Road. Gov. Cuomo has declared a state-wide emergency due the storm.

Some days the winds howled. On Feb. 7, the wind chill was 15 below. This photo was taken on Countyhouse Road near the Ridgeway-Albion town line.

Carl Sargent woke up to another snow storm on Feb. 10. He was out shoveling that morning on Caroline Street in Albion.

The freeze-and-thaw cycle left long icicles hanging from buildings. This picture was taken on Feb. 16 and shows the Center for Workforce Development building on Route 31 in Albion, right next to the GCC campus.

It may have only been in the teens on March 2, but it was still a glorious sunset in Orleans County. This photo was taken on Gaines Basin Road in Albion, looking west along the railroad tracks. The temperatures were forecast to fall to 4 degrees that night.

On March 12 a blizzard hit, dropping about a foot of snow on the county. This photo shows traffic creeping along Main Street in Albion by the Presbyterian Church and the county courthouse.

It looked like a white planet when firefighters, including Dan Strong of Carlton, responded to a chimney fire on Ridge Road in Gaines during the blizzard.