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Mother Nature takes her toll on Skaneateles

When snow started falling Wednesday evening, there was no telling if the local weathermen would have their forecasts correct.

But when schools were closed throughout the region come Thursday morning and the village and town plows hit the streets, many Central New Yorkers knew it was time for the first real storm of the season.

"This has been the worst storm that I can remember in the past 10 years," said Mike Dries, a village of Skaneateles Department of Public Works employee.

The storm dropped approximately 20 inches of wet snow on the Skaneateles area with drifting to more than three feet high, said village Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz on Saturday afternoon.

The plows were out in full force by 3 a.m. Thursday, he said.

"The village crews were clearing until about noon and then came in again later in the afternoon. On Friday they were in again around 3 a.m. and worked solid until 6 p.m. yesterday [Friday]," Lotkowictz said.

Throughout the winter the village, which uses salt on its roads, has used approximately 80 percent of what was budgeted for the season. The salt is stockpiled in the Department of Public Works shed and the municipality receives several deliveries during the winter. Lotkowictz said the shed is about half full since the storm.

As the village approaches its budget season, one thing residents may be concerned with is the use of overtime by employees. Lotkowictz said the crew has used overtime with the cleanup efforts during and following the storm. Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"The fact that snow generally falls outside those hours, we have used approximately 130 hours of overtime these past few days," he said.

Despite the use of overtime, the roads were cleaned up in a safe and orderly fashion, and Mother Nature even helped a little. After dumping nearly two feet of new snow on the area, the sun came out and helped to melt away some of the snow left on the roads.

"The roads were all clear by yesterday [Friday] afternoon," Lotkowictz said.

If you're wondering where all the snow went, Lotkowictz said the village trucks the snow from the downtown area and is then piled in the DPW's yard on Fennell Street.

But if you're in the mood to play in the snow, there are still plenty of piles around town.

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