In Vt., Brief January Thaw Brings Headaches - NECN

In Vt., Brief January Thaw Brings Headaches



    In Vt., brief January thaw brings headaches

    The high temperature in the Burlington area Monday morning was 51 degrees (Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014)

    (NECN: Jack Thurston, Winooski, Vt.) - The high temperature Monday in the Burlington, Vt. area was 51 degrees, shortly before 8 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. That is a 60 degree swing from the sub-zero temperatures Thursday and Friday of last week. The dramatic change made for headaches for many Vermonters, who had to deal not only with melting snow and ice, but new rainfall on top of it.

    In Winooski, some pedestrians were using the streets instead of the sidewalks Monday, because the rain on top of thick ice left from last month's ice storm made walking treacherous. "I was heading somewhere but I'm turning back, because it's just not safe," said Fred Royce of Winooski.

    The city was trying to widen and clear some of those frozen sidewalks, taking advantage of the brief January thaw that allowed them to better attack the ice. But it was a tough job, as all the water from rain and snow melt had nowhere to go. Storm drains were blocked in some places, so that led to localized flooding.

    Vermonters were bracing for another wild ride on the weather roller coaster, with temperatures predicted to plunge into the teens overnight and into Tuesday. "That is a major concern for the Vermont State Police," said Sgt. Bob Lucas, the patrol commander for the Williston barracks of the Vt. State Police.

    Vermont's Public Safety Department warned water on the roads would likely re-freeze Monday evening. Police were pleading with drivers to leave extra time in their trips, extra space between vehicles to accommodate safe braking, and to keep speeds down in case they come upon a patch of ice. "If you hit that at 50 miles per hour, that may hit you for a loop," Lucas advised.

    The temperature changes have made for some big headaches for the Bolton Valley Resort, too. "It's always salvageable," said resort spokesman Josh Arneson.

    Melting and icy conditions brought the ski area down to just three trails Monday. Bolton told New England Cable News it planned on firing up its snow guns and having groomers working hard to expand the trail count significantly for mid-week and weekend visitors. "It's Monday," Arneson said. "We've got all week to recover and set up for this coming weekend."

    Arneson was one of many Vermonters hoping the weather will moderate soon in this New Year and new winter.