(NECN: Jack Thurston, Winooski, Vt.) - Most of Vermont woke up to 8-14" of snow. Locally higher amounts were reported in some places, especially in far Southern Vermont and at higher elevations. Hundreds of schools were closed. Some businesses were too, or announced delayed openings. Travel was really tricky in the morning.
In much of central and northern Vermont, snow tapered off mid-late morning, but reports from southern Vermont indicated it was still falling in some places shortly before noon.
"A number of accidents have been reported this morning," Mark Bosma, the public information officer for the Vt. Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, wrote in an email to news outlets. "State and local road crews are still out and making headway, but windy conditions are making road conditions unpredictable. Those who need to travel should allow plenty of extra time to reach their destination, drive slowly, and leave plenty of room between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them to allow for extra braking distance. Clear all snow from your car so your visibility is not impeded and you don't present an extra hazard to other drivers."
Getting around on foot was challenging, too. "I can't walk through the sidewalks," sighed Justice Palmer of Winooski.
Palmer has an injured knee. Because of the drifting snow and sloppy sidewalks, she was walking on the street to deliver a Valentine's Day present. The oversized teddy bear wasn't making maneuvering any easier. "He kind of makes me topsy-turvy, so I'd really fall," she said, smiling.
Plows were out in force cleaning roads and sidewalks in Winooski, but before they made it to her neighborhood, Liz Wolf was getting around on cross-country skis. The teacher had a snow day, which she spent getting her exercise. "It's kind of nice; there are no cars on the streets and it's better than getting in a car and driving," Wolf told New England Cable News.
Retiree Dave Senical worked to clear his driveway and beat back the snowbanks in front of his home with his snow-blower. "This is a good old fashioned Vermont winter," an exasperated Senical said.
Downtown districts had extra incentive to get the streets and sidewalks cleared quickly. They wanted to make it as easy as possible for Valentine's Day diners to get to their restaurant reservations to enjoy their romantic dinners. The state and municipalities also wanted to make it easier for skiers and snowboarders to visit this tourism-dependent state on the Presidents' Day Weekend.