Weekend storm has minimal impact

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    WEST MILFORD-Warnings of an impending blizzard were heeded by local residents and the Jan. 22 storm had minimal impact on this mountain community. In the days and hours leading up to the start of the noonday storm, residents flocked to supermarkets and other stores to lay in supplies. Town officials also were prepared. Some 29 public works department workers and 26 trucks were pressed into action with the first snowflakes, according to Jerry Storms, public works director. Three hours later, with several inches of snow on the ground, the backup team, 53 snow removal contractors, were pressed into service to help remove a total of 21 inches of snow that would accumulate on this 80 square mile community's 190 miles of public roads. With the storm arriving on a Saturday, schools were closed and many workers had the day off. They devoted the time to cleaning private walks and driveways using everything from shovels to snow plows. Without the high winds that accompany a blizzard, drifting was minimal and residents quickly moved the fluffy snowfall off pathways. Before the storm hit, long lines were the norm in stores. In supermarkets people stocked up on staples such as bread, milk and other foodstuffs. "I ran out to get soups and cocoa for the kids, and some good reading material for me," said Isabel McFadden of Upper Greenwood Lake. "Many people came out to buy supplies for the storm," noted Joanne Woods, manager of the Ace Hardware Store on Marshall Hill Road. They were buying emergency supplies for their electric generators," as well as batteries, lanterns, de-icer and other perceived essentials. Anticipated power failures failed to materialize and even auto accidents were at a relatively minimal level, with only seven accidents being reported to police, many by motorists who had slid off roadways on curves or slippery surfaces. All vehicle occupants escaped without apparent injury according to the police reports. "It's funny how Mother Nature can help you bond with your family," said Pat Dennison of Warwick, N.Y., who had visited his mother here, to help her weather the storm.