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Schools closed, delayed today due to weather

Ski areas struggle to stay open; some close

January 27, 2012
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Rain and freezing rain closed some schools and delayed the opening of others today in the Tri-Lakes area.

This latest bout of unseasonable weather this winter has also taken a toll on local ski areas, some of which have been forced to close.

The Saranac Lake Central School District, Lake Placid Central Schools and the Northern Lights School were closed today. So were St. Bernard's and St. Agnes Catholic schools in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, respectively.

The Tupper Lake Central School District and the AuSable Valley School District delayed the start of classes by two hours. Paul Smith's College has delayed the opening of its campus until 10 a.m.; all classes scheduled to start before that time have been canceled.

The Keene Central School District was operating as normal today.

Among other activities, the volunteers who've been building the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace were told not to come to work today due to the rain. This is the second time in a week that construction of the palace has been hampered by rainy weather.

Mount Van Hoevenburg Cross-Country Ski Center was forced to close today. Dewey Mountain Cross-Country Ski Center in Saranac Lake had closed on Thursday due to poor trail conditions; today's rain wasn't expected to make things any better there.

Among the local alpine ski centers, Mount Pisgah Ski Center is closed today and tonight. Manager Charlie Martin said he hoped to reopen Saturday.

Big Tupper Ski Area, which doesn't have any snowmaking, continues to be closed.

A steady rain was coming down at 8:15 a.m. this morning at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, according to Operations Manager Aaron Kellett. The mountain was operating as normal, but Kellett said the biggest challenge will come after the temperatures start to drop again.

"The skiing is pretty good when it's wet like this; it's just a battle when it freezes to try and get it resurfaced," Kellett said. "We'll get the (snow) guns going tonight and resurface as best as we can."

Kellet said he can't recall a winter as mild and rainy as this one has been.

"It's not ideal for a ski resort, but when we've had the opportunities, the guys have done a great job of making snow," he said. "So far, we've been able to weather these storms and bounce back pretty quick."

The National Weather Service in Burlington has posted a winter weather advisory for most of the North Country that will be in effect until 7 p.m. tonight. Rain and freezing rain will continue today before turning into rain and snow showers this evening.



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