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Storm brings activity in the Capital District to a halt

People expecting flower deliveries on Valentine's Day may have to wait one more day as snow and wind continues to cover the entire Capital District creating near zero visibility driving conditions and forcing snow emergencies to remain in effect for many communities.

As of 4 p.m. Albany received more than 14 inches of new snow. Reports from the National Weather Service indicate Colonie has 15 inches of snow, East Berne with 18 inches, Saratoga Springs with 14 inches of snow and Schenectady with around 12 inches of snow. Areas west of the region were hit even harder with reports of 22 inches of snow in Fulton County and 27 inches of snow in Cobleskill by late afternoon.

The forecast calls for the snow to end later this evening to be followed by heavy winds and below zero temperatures.

State and local road crews have been out all day trying to play catch up with the quick-falling snow hitting the ground -- sometimes between 2-4 inches an hour.

All crews are out and running, said Bethlehem Supervisor Theresa Egan, who said town offices were closed at 3 p.m. for all non-essential employees.

This is the first time since last January that plows have been out in full force in Bethlehem.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Valerie Keehn said a snow emergency has been in effect for her municipality and vehicles need to be off city streets so crews can clear the road.

"One lady called and said she was trying to keep up with her shoveling, but it continues to snow and asked when do I have to have my sidewalk clear," said Keehn, who added that she told the lady to stop shoveling and stay safe until the storm subsides.

During the height of the blizzard, there were more than 20 vehicles disabled or off the road between 1 and 3 p.m. in the Albany area.

The pro beach volleyball tour athletes who competed in Albany on Tuesday night learned they were snowed in for at least another day.

The forecast will be cold and windy right through the beginning of the weekend. Temperatures by Saturday should be in the upper 20s with sunny skies.

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