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Snow, rain, wind gusts hit southern Cos

58.1 inches of snow in Randolph

March 03, 2010
RANDOLPH — The west side of southern Cos County had far less snow that its center but high winds caused downed trees and branches in many towns.

Terri Emerson of Lancaster reported on Friday afternoon on Facebook that she "didn't lose electricity" but that, instead, experienced something "just like some small power surges." She also noted that Lancaster "didn't get much snow but a lot of rain," although she had not seen any flooding.

It was a different story by far in Randolph, especially on the Hill where many homes are at an elevation of about 1,800 feet.

Ted Wier of Randolph Hill, who submits reports to both the Weather Bureau in Gray, Me., as a "Weather Spotter" and to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) headquartered at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., measured a total of 58.1 inches over the four-days, Wednesday, Feb. 24, to Saturday, Feb. 27: 12.6 inches on 2/24; 20 inches, 2/25; 10 inches, 2/26; and 15.5 inches, 2/27.

Mr. Wier explained, "CoCoRaHS involves a comprehensive daily report at 7 a.m. of any and all types of precipitation recorded over the last 24 hours, including water content of snow (old and new). It's a nationwide group of nearly 8,000 volunteers reporting daily, supplementing existing networks and adding previously nonexistent data for scientific purposes. Its website is:www.cocorahs.org."

"Although not a record storm, it is the most difficult snow to plow and shovel that I have ever experienced," Mr. Wier pointed out.

"There is a tremendous amount of snow up here on Randolph Hill," reported Karen Eitel on Saturday "We had a front loader come in yesterday (Friday) to clear our driveway and push it back just so Wayne Parker could plow again with his truck."

The wet snow was far too heavy to move with a regular plow and her husband, Woody, told Mr. Parker not to even try. After the loader finished its work, the snow mound at the end of their driveway was 12 feet high.

"We lost power for about eight hours that day but we do have a generator. Woody and I have gone out on our snowshoes, but mostly to work clearing the snow. We have been using the roof rake, trying to stay up with the snow load on the lower roofs and porch overhangs. I am filling the bird feeders up almost daily. I've never seen so many birds waiting on branches to take their turn at the feeder. I've also been throwing out larger seeds on the ground for the pair of grouse who come out each morning. Lots of fox prints and, of course, snowshoe rabbits.

After last night and today I think we have well over four feet of new snow."

Rev. Ellie McLaughlin reported in an e-mail exchange on Saturday that her neighbor and plowman, former Gorham High School principal Jim Hunt, said that it had snowed 45 inches since Wednesday, Feb. 24. "We've had very little wind, but one old gnarled pine has finally lost its main trunk," wrote the retired rector of St. Barnabas in Berlin. "The snow which roars off our metal roof has now totally covered the kitchen windows, so I had to turn on the lights to make lunch — there was only a dim, blue-grey light through the snow with no sky showing! The conifers' lower branches are so cloaked with snow that it looks as if they were growing right out of the white cover. We lost electricity Friday morning early. I melted snow on our woodstove and am keeping the pots there, for who knows when the power might go off again."

Up in Stark that same evening, Margaret Cowie reported on Saturday in an e-mail exchange, "We've had peculiar weather here in Stark for two days. Mostly we had what I've been taught to call 'snain' — that is, snow mixed with rain. It was measurable either way. I'd say I got about eight inches total in my yard, judging by the height of it on my dogs' legs. I shoveled and plowed as well.

"From the wee hours of Friday, Feb. 26, the power flickered on and off, but I never lost power for longer than a minute or two. The winds I will say were almost of hurricane force, it seemed, blowing my gate open several times and some long boards off the top of the woodpile. I was waiting for the weather vane to go next. "The strangest thing I noticed was thunder! Around 8 p.m. on Thursday, we got thunder with the high winds. My poor dogs were hiding from the violence of it."

Jefferson got a lot of snow from Six Gun City east, but tufts of hay were readily visible on the great swaths of hayfields that surround the Conway's Yawnoc Farm on Route 116.

Eric Higgins of the Jefferson Inn B & B on Route 2 in Jefferson Village reported in an e-mail exchange, "We did not get much snow here, only a couple of inches of slush. We had neither additional guests nor any cancellations. We lost power a couple times but only for a few minutes at a time. Further east got hit pretty good, with Ingerson Road apparently impassable much of Friday."

Joe Marshall reported that things had calmed down in Jefferson on Friday morning but that "it was pretty wild wind wise the last few days."

Roy Twombley, who lives near the Dalton-Littleton town line, said that only between two and three inches fell at his house.

Freelance writer Jeff Woodburn of Dalton reported on Saturday that the previous day his wife, Kelly, who was thinking of driving to Ottawa to visit her mother, kept vacillating because the weather kept changing. In the end, she did go, taking their two young sons with her.

"I went to Littleton yesterday and today, and it was spring-like with warm weather, bright skies and no snow," Mr. Woodburn wrote. "Back to Dalton, and everything is white, cloudy, and I couldn't make it up my driveway. Go figure? Not very democratic weather at all — especially here on Dalton Mountain, but not sure whether we got the best or the worst of it. My wife is rooting for a few more snowshoe trips up the mountain, but my chickens and I are ready for spring."

Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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