Snow closes Silver Creek Schools, provides work for private crews

SILVER CREEK, N.Y. (WIVB) – With a lake effect snow band dumping snow fast and heavy Thursday morning, district leaders in Silver Creek made the decision to cancel school for the day.

While some area residents expressed surprise that Silver Creek would be the lone district to close schools Thursday, at least some parents in the district say it was the right call. “It was better to be safe and we’re appreciative that they erred on the side of caution,” said one Silver Creek resident, Renae Bordenkircher.

Around the Silver Creek school buildings, roads remained snow covered and slippery throughout much of the morning, despite the efforts of the plows that were out in force working to clear the streets. “The road crews have been awesome, I’ve got to admit,” said Bill DeWeese, who was shoveling the walkway in front of his house, not far from the Silver Creek middle school.

But with roads in some places still pretty rough by mid-morning, a lot of people decided not to take their chances and many were avoiding going out at all. “Around here, if you mention that there’s any kind of snow or anything, then yes, nobody will come out,” observed Cindi Connolly, an employee at Aunt Millie’s restaurant.

Connolly said business was very slow at Aunt Millie’s on Thursday morning because of the snow, but said that all worked out, because several restaurant employees couldn’t make it in either.

Still, the employees who did make it in are urging customers to join them for a bite. “Just drive slow, it’s okay,” Connolly advised.

After all, you have to refuel somehow after burning all those calories shoveling. And a lot of people around the area spent the morning with shovels and other tools in hand.

Private snow removal crews around Western New York got started clearing parking lots and sidewalks late Wednesday night and were still working hard Thursday morning to finish the job before the businesses they were digging out opened for the day.

“We’re just doing what we can do,” said Matt Nigro, who was working with Busy Beaver snow plow service to clear parking lots and sidewalks with a small crew in Amherst Thursday. “There’s just three of us. You know, no pressure.”

“It’s part of the job,” said another Busy Beaver employee, Mark Gilbert. “We’re paid well to keep hustling and make sure everyone can walk in the door.”

Gilbert said he was grateful for the work, especially after the mild December we saw her, and he said, he was grateful for the snow conditions on Thursday making the work just a little easier for him. “We’ve got light snow so it’s really easy to clear,” he said.
“Very light. The driest powder you can find,” DeWeese agreed. “If I had skis and I had my way, I’d be up in the mountains right now skiing away.”

The one downside to the light snow, though, is that it blows around pretty easily. That can be a big problem if there are vehicles that have a thick layer of light snow on top heading out onto the roads. The wind can blow that snow all over the place, reducing visibility for other drivers. Everyone is urged to clean off as much snow from their cars as they can before they try to share the roads.

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