Two major winter storms strike the area in less than a week

Quinn leaves more than a foot of new snow in the wake of Riley

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  • Photo by Julie Tomaro A snowy street in Greenwood Lake during Winter Storm Quinn.

  • Photo by Roger Gavan Winter Storm Quinn left as much as 16 inches of new snow accumulation in Warwick.

  • Photo by Robert G. Breese A traveler makes his way through the Village of Warwick during the early moments of the storm.

  • Kate Valentine shared this photograph she took when she was taking a walk through Memorial Park off of Forrester Avenue in Warwick after last week's storm.

  • Photo by Roger Gavan Mount Peter Ski Area reported 15 inches of fresh snow on its recorded message for those planning to ski or snowboard on Saturday. Winter Storm Quinn deposited another 20 inches of snow less than a week later.

By Roger Gavan

— On Thursday evening March 1, through Friday, March 2, the first of two major winter storms this year, described as Nor'easters, Winter storm Riley, struck the Hudson Valley with high winds, rain and snow.

It would be followed less than a week later by a storm named Quinn.

RileyDuring the first storm Duchess, Putnam, Westchester and Sullivan Counties all declared a state of emergency.

Much of Orange County, however, had little snow accumulation but an exception was the higher elevations surrounding Warwick.

Mount Peter Ski Area, for example, reported 15 inches of fresh snow on its recorded message for those planning to ski or snowboard that weekend. And they came out in droves.

The Warwick Police Department reported no serious accidents in this town as a result of the storm but there were numerous cases of vehicles skidding off the road.

During the storm the police had also closed Route 17A leading to the Mount Peter area where the poor viability could only be described as a total whiteout.

Another serious problem was the many power outages, which even caused a rare loss of WVT telephone service in some areas. Phone and email service was restored by early Saturday afternoon.

The Website,, reported early Friday afternoon that New York was the hardest hit state in the Northeast with more than 208,000 homes and businesses without electricity.

O&R spokesman Mike Donovan said that 1,700 customers in Warwick were without power during the storm and as of Tuesday morning less than 10 were still waiting for service.

He explained that strong winds toppled many trees, some that were laden with heavy wet snow, on power lines. Then he added, "Now we're getting ready for this Wednesday's storm. And it may be just as bad."

He was right.

QuinnOn Wednesday evening the National Weather Service was predicting 15 to 23 inches of snow accumulation in the Warwick area.

Many of the roads, especially in the higher elevations, were impassable and New Jersey Transit bus service was suspended.

O&R had already reported more than 3,600 power outages in Orange County with that number climbing rapidly.

On Thursday morning the skies had cleared but many of the secondary roads were still problematic.

The Greenwood Lake School District was closed while Warwick Valley and Florida Schools were on a three-hour delay.

The Town of Warwick had about 16 inches of new snow accumulation but it was much worse in the higher elevations. And the Mount Peter Ski Area was reporting 20 inches of fresh snow as predicted.

Locally, the power outage reports were not as bad as the first storm.

O&R spokesman Donovan reported that at the height of the storm the company had 65,000 customers in its entire area that were out of power. That number was down to 30,000 with Rockland and Bergen counties being the hardest hit. There were 5,500 outages in Orange County with just 100 in the Town of Warwick and only a few in the Village of Warwick.

The company did warn residents to maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with, including puddles and fences.

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