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Snow won’t slow parade

More than a foot of fresh snowfall

A Saranac Lake Department of Public Works plow removes snow from a sidewalk at the corner of Woodruff Street and Broadway Friday. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

SARANAC LAKE — This village may have just experienced its biggest dumping of snow all winter, but folks aren’t scared it will have any effect on Saturday’s Winter Carnival Gala Parade.

Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Dustin Martin said the snowstorm will not cancel or delay the parade.

“I don’t think the snow is going to be an issue,” he said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. “About 10 years ago we had some pretty good snowstorms before the parade, but those were about two weeks beforehand. This is the closest one we’ve had to parade day, but we’re making sure everything is ready for it.”

He said he had work crews scheduled until 8 p.m. Friday clearing snow, and that they would come back at 2 a.m. Saturday for further plowing and ice removal. Martin said there are about 20 workers on his crew, and that includes members of the DPW’s water-sewer and streets-parks divisions.

Winter Carnival Committee Chairman Jeff Branch said he enjoys the snow, and the weather is never a worry when it comes to the Carnival parade.

Hotel Saranac General Manager Jake Kipping uses a snowblower on the second-floor terrace Friday night. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

“We love it. Our motto is, ‘We’re not going to cancel Winter Carnival for sake of winter,'” he said. “Every year it’s something different. It might be warm or cold, rainy or snowy, but the parade always happens. I’ve seen 40-degree days, and I’ve seen below-40-degree days, and we still do it.”

The precipitation started falling Thursday night and ended by 8 p.m. Friday. In the middle of that came freezing rain overnight; people awoke to find their cars coated in a shell of ice.

According to the National Weather Service, snow totals by the end of the Friday were expected to reach 10 to 18 inches. As of 4:17 p.m. Friday, Lake Placid had gotten 13.5 inches of snow.

Bone-chilling cold will follow the snow. The Tri-Lakes area is expected to see a high of 6 degrees Saturday and a low of minus 20 degrees Saturday night.

All local school districts canceled classes Friday, and some community events were postponed. Saranac Lake schools were already giving students the day off, as happens every year for the second Friday of Winter Carnival.

A Saranac Lake Department of Public Works plow drives down Broadway Friday afternoon. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

Roads were less crowded than normal, and drivers had to take things slowly, facing deep snow and whiteout conditions.

Some people skipped driving altogether.

Diane Litynski lived up to the last three letters of her last name Friday when she clicked on her cross-country boards and skied into downtown Saranac Lake from her home on the shoulder of Dewey Mountain. She had to run an errand.

“I wanted to bake a traditional Polish loaf of egg bread to take with me as I visit my mom this weekend,” she said. “I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I got this idea: Put on the boards, don the backpack and go.”

She said skiing down the hill was great and that going back up wasn’t too bad, either, because the snow was so thick.

A ruler shows more than a foot of snow had fallen in Saranac Lake by around 8:30 p.m., after the snowfall had tapered off. (Enterprise photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

“It was fabulous,” she said. “I ran into other people skiing — no lie. … Every time someone would see me, they smiled. That was so worth it.

“My neighbor needs to get her hair cut this afternoon. She’s skiing down to do it. I love that.”

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Managing Editor Peter Crowley and Staff Writer Elizabeth Izzo contributed to this report.

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