Unionville digs out

Snowfall again at record pace, more snow eyed for Tuesday
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

The wet, heavy snow and high winds knocked down trees and branches all over the Unionville area, adding to the headaches of those trying to clear and plow local roadways.

Now all that’s left is the cleanup — and the wait for the next storm, which could come as soon as next Tuesday.

About 15 inches of snow, high winds, downed trees and power lines and even even thundersnow highlighted a nasty winter snowstorm that closed Unionville-Chadds Ford Schools for three days (schools were closed Friday for students, but a planned professional day for staff will go on with a delayed start to the day) — the fifth snow day in two weeks for the district.

Thousands of people lost power along the U.S. 1 corridor, including large sections of East Marlborough, although PECO was able to restore power to virtually all of its customers by Thursday night. Trees and branches were down across the area, because of the combination of plentiful, wet heavy snow and high winds during the peak of the storm. A number of roadways were blocked or partially blocked, further complicating snow plowing and snow removal efforts for local and state road workers.

Needless to say, as was the case last year, most local municipalities will be exceeding their annual snow removal budget — between salt supplies, truck usage and overtime for staff that worked through the night, two straight nights — and will be forced to make adjustments in other areas of the budget as the year goes on.

Closures of schools and public offices were the rule, rather than the exception, although most local businesses were open Thursday.

Already, nearly 40 inches has fallen on the Unionville area during the winter of 2010-11, roughly double the typical amount seen in a normal winter, but still not approaching last winter, where more than 70 inches of snow fell on the region, including more than 40 inches of snow in a five-day period in February, 2010.

Forecasters say the snow is far from done. According to the National Weather Service, light snow showers are forecast for both Friday and Saturday, with the possibility of minimal accumulations. However, forecasters are looking closely at a storm system expected to roll in Tuesday that could be yet another major snow event.

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