Snow closes schools, helps skiers in Cattaraugus County

ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – A handful of local school districts were closed Tuesday because of snow, freeing more students up to hit the slopes at Holiday Valley, where employees were celebrating a fresh blanket of white.

Many residents in the area faced a very snowy start to their day Tuesday, with small flakes falling fast and adding a fresh layer to what came with the last round of snow to hit the region. “It’s a little slick, but it’s okay. We’re used to it here in Ellicottville,” said Tina Barrett, an Ellicottville resident.

All of that snow did lead to a travel advisory for Cattaraugus County for much of the morning while plows worked to play catch up with the still falling flakes. Road conditions varied pretty widely from one street to the next. “The roads have been a little rough this morning,” observed Steve Crowley, an Ellicottville employee who works at Holiday Valley.

Some area school districts, including Salamanca, decided not to risk it and closed schools down for the day. Parents of those students were keeping their kids warm and busy at home. “They’ve been up running around, playing video games, eating cereal. We’ve got about six of them in there right now,” said one Salamanca parent, Steve Bargy, as he was shoveling the driveway in front of his house.

“So be it,” said Elkdale resident Mary Ann Paprocki, when asked about the school districts’ decision to close. “They deserve a day.”

In the Ellicottville school district, was business as usual on Tuesday, despite the frigid temps at the bus stops.

At least some people in Ellicottville were celebrating the fresh blanket of snow. “I love this weather. It’s beautiful. It’s just what Ellicottville needs,” Barrett said, “for the skiing and it brings a lot of resources to the families who need the Ellicottville to work at the slopes.”

“We went through a tough, tough December, and right around New Year’s Day it started to change. We’ve had a good run since,” Crowley agreed.

Now, the snow is getting deeper on the slopes, and skiers, snowboarders,band tubers are starting to make up for lost time.
Even so, Holiday Valley was making more snow for its customers Tuesday morning. “We never have enough snow for the tubing park or Holiday Valley, so the snow guns are running as well as the snow falling out of the sky,” Crowley explained.

Crowley said Holiday Valley could see more students hit the slopes on Tuesday, because many had the day off school. But, he added, snow days can also be slower, because some people have trouble getting there if the streets have not been cleared.

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