In order to keep the 678 miles of road in Steuben County as clear as possible, Vince Spagnoletti and his team were up and out on the roads as early as 3 a.m. Wednesday.
The nearly 700 miles of roadway, which give Steuben the third-highest number of roadway miles among all New York state counties, requires the work of 48 snow-clearing trucks.
According to Spagnoletti, Steuben County's commissioner of public works, the total cost of Wednesday's storm was $127,000 - more than six percent of the county's annual $2.1 million budget for snow removal. An average winter storm normally costs the county approximately $32,000 in snow removal.
"What's different about this storm is that it's been snowing all day long and it's not stopping," Spagnoletti said Wednesday afternoon. "So you have to keep going out and that's why it gets to be so costly."
Further depleting the county's salt reserves, Wednesday's snow removal efforts used 900 tons of salt and 2,700 tons of sand.
The DPW may exceed its salt contract with a regional supplier - agreed to before winter - and would have to pay a higher price per ton for its refills, Spagnoletti.
"We had enough salt for this storm and we've got plenty in the barns for Sunday, so we've got enough to carry us through the next few storms," Spagnoletti said. "But the point is, we've still got a good month or two of winter left, so at some point we might have to go over what our initial estimate was."
Despite the county's best efforts, schools and businesses across the area were closed due to weather and road conditions, including schools in the Corning-Painted Post School District, classes at Corning Community College and services at local Guthrie clinics.
Those who ventured out into the snowy conditions were met with slippery roads and slushy walkways, but according to Steuben County Undersheriff James Allard, the wintry conditions didn't yield as many motor vehicle accidents as a storm of this size usually does.
"We've had three crashes that we've attended to," Allard said. "Honestly, I think the public has done a fantastic job of restricting their non-essential travel. I think that's the biggest difference today, that there's not as much travel on the roadways and people are being much more judicious on their decisions to travel."
There were no cancellations or delays at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport on Wednesday due to the storm, said Ann Crook, airport manager.
With snow accumulations around eight inches in most areas, many are looking for a respite in the coming days.
According to Chip Maxham, meteorologist for the WETM Channel 18 News Storm Team, conditions will begin to improve.
There will likely be some sunshine Thursday and Friday, Maxham said.
A storm expected this weekend won't bring nearly as much snow as was initially thought possible, he added.
Page 2 of 2 - "This weekend there is a possibility of more snow, but it looks like the stronger part of the storm is going to be offshore," Maxham said. "We're looking at maybe some light snow Saturday night into Sunday night, but it shouldn't amount to more than a couple of inches - not that big of a deal, especially compared to Wednesday's heavy snow."