Conditions in Ontario County took a turn for the worst Wednesday on day two of the late-season snowstorm
Like most main streets across the region Wednesday, Route 21 through the village of Naples saw a lot less traffic — except for the passing of snow plows — and many businesses were closed or operating with shorter hours.
It could have been Route 96 through Victor, or Route 332 — which at one point had a snowmobiler zooming along — heading into Canandaigua and Main Street through downtown.
A sign on the door of The Grainery, a popular bagel cafe in Naples, read it was closed March 15 and to "Enjoy the snow if you can."
For those who aren’t enjoying the snow, perhaps Thursday will be a better day than Tuesday and Wednesday have been. The National Weather Service reports the Greater Rochester International Airport got 15.6 inches of snow — a new daily record for March 14. It beats the old record of 8.2 inches during a 1993 snowstorm.
Through Wednesday morning, the overall total snowfall at the airport was 22.2 inches.
The AccuWeather forecast for Canandaigua calls for continued cold temperatures Thursday and a few flurries. The Friday forecast calls for sun and temperatures approaching the high 30s.
Although the weather may be improving, it will be hard to forget the last two days.
Just as conditions were improving Wednesday afternoon in Monroe County, they took a turn for the worse in Ontario County, prompting Sheriff Philip Povero to issue a traveler’s advisory urging no unnecessary travel. That was expected to expire early Thursday morning.
A host of government functions were canceled Wednesday. The Farmington Planning Board and town courts in Richmond and Bristol were canceled.
While a city of Canandaigua Charter Review Commission staged a public hearing on proposed changes to the city charter Wednesday night, the town of Canandaigua transfer station was open, but on reduced hours.
And Eastview Mall in Victor and other Rochester area malls were closed Tuesday afternoon and evening and continued to be closed Wednesday, although stores were expected to reopen Thursday morning.
Despite many inconveniences here, it could have been worse.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is sending 100 large plows and 100 members of the National Guard to assist in snow removal in the Southern Tier region, as the Binghamton area was among the hardest hit by Tuesday's snowstorm. The National Weather Service said 31.3 inches blanketed the region.
Tuesday's storm dumped 20 inches to as much as 41 inches across a region stretching from Lake Erie's eastern shore to the Catskills, Hudson Valley and Adirondacks.
While a number of flights were canceled, the Greater Rochester International Airport has been open since the storm started, due to a team of 30 plow truck drivers who have been working around the clock to keep a runway open.
Snow showers and winds gusting to 40 mph hampered snow removal, but it seems people were faring pretty well here Wednesday.
Kids and school staff were on a second-consecutive "snow day" and even those who had to work, like Kyle Kuhner with the village of Naples, took the storm in stride. Kuhner said he had been up at 3:30 a.m. to help with snow removal during the storm, as he spread salt along the sidewalk in front of the Town and Village Hall offices midday Wednesday as snow continued to fall.
At Rennoldson's Market, owner Steve Rennoldson said he had missed a delivery from a food supply on Tuesday because of a Thruway restriction. At the governor's direction, all tractor trailers were banned on the state Thruway on Tuesday and the ban was still in effect Wednesday, although lifted late in the afternoon. It mainly affected delivery of some deli items, Rennoldson said. He expected the Rochester-based supplier to make it today based on reports the storm was expected to taper off Wednesday night.
The grocery was relatively quiet Wednesday morning and Rennoldson said he was working with a smaller crew, with just those who could walk to work. The store was really busy Monday and again Tuesday morning as people prepared for the storm, he said. Business reduced to a "steady trickle Tuesday afternoon" and they closed at 7 p.m,., two hours earlier than usual, on Tuesday.
Rennoldson was still weighing Wednesday afternoon whether to close early again Thursday, waiting to see what would happen with the storm.
"It is really slow this morning, but we are here," he said.
Road crews were out in force, as many of the roads in the county were for the part, clear and passable. Bill Wright, commissioner of public works for Ontario County, said this is the type of storm they're best equipped to handle: A long event with few periods of heavy snow.
“They work pretty hard," Wright said. "They work a 16-hour day most likely. They catch three or four hours of sleep. They get back in the truck at two in the morning and they do it all over again. But that's what they're trained to do."
— Includes reporting by Daily Messenger news partner, News 10NBC and The Associated Press