By Kassie Parisi
CLIFTON PARK — Much like the rest of the Northeast, Clifton Park woke up to a blizzard raging outside. The intense snow has resulted in town wide closings, and a snow emergency being called.
While Clifton Park Town Hall has remained open, all non essential town employees were permitted to stay home. The town declared a snow emergency earlier.
“We declared a state of Emergency this morning and our crews are working hard to clear the roads and town facilities that would be vital should a serious situation occur. Many other town employees are on call if needed,” Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said. “The length and strength of the storm has created a very challenging and expensive situation. We are prepared and our team is executing as we would expect.
Clifton Park Highway Superintendent Dahn Bull said that residents would be hard pressed to find a road that wasn’t totally covered in snow at this point, and his department is doing its best to just keep up with the storm, instead of trying to get ahead of it.
“We’re just doing our best to push back as much snow as we possibly can,” Bull said. Working with a group of around 30 employees, he said the main focus right now is to make sure that the roads are, at the very least, passable. An earnest clean up effort with salting probably won’t occur until the snow is done falling, Bull said, but he noted that the department will have a significant amount of black top visible within two to three hours after the storm is over.
Bull said his department has also been helping stuck cars today, specifically around Exit 9. He said there were quite a few vehicles traveling in Clifton Park despite the storm, and urged residents to either be careful while driving, or to stay off the roads entirely.
Many town focal points are shut down for the as well. The Clifton Park Center Mall sent out a notice this morning that it would close for the day, including Boscov’s, JC Penny, Homegoods, and Regal Cinemas. Phone calls went unanswered at restaurants in the mall area, including Mocha Lisa’s Cafe, Chipotle, and Smash Burger. Calls were not returned at Panera Bread on 22 Maxwell Avenue, and the Ravenswood Pub on route 146 was preparing to close early for the afternoon.
Places that remain open include Price Chopper and Market 32 stores, according to Golub Corp. spokeswoman Mona Golub. The Stewarts Shops on Grooms Road, Route 146, and Clifton Park Center Road are all open, with regular hours.
Shenendehowa Central School District is closed, as are all administrative offices in the district. The Board of Education meeting that was scheduled for tonight has been pushed back to March 21. The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library is closed today, and will resume normal hours tomorrow. Late last night, the Town of Halfmoon released an urgent alert, saying that all town offices would be closed on Tuesday, and would reopen on Wednesday, March 15.
As the storm has continued, more and more municipalities have declared snow emergencies. The latest to do so are the City of Gloversville and the Village of Scotia. The snow is expected to continue into the evening.