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Power out, schools close in wake of ice storm

While most primary roads in Bethlehem were open after the storm, some roads remained closed due to fallen wires, and some traffic lights were out. National Grid reported that 8,564 Bethlehem customers lost power.

In addition, the Bethlehem Police Department and all fire departments were a part of the emergency effort to ensure public safety and help residents without power.

Cunningham said the Bethlehem contacted county officials and was prepared to work with the Red Cross to open an emergency shelter in the event the power outage was long-term.

Don Reeb, the president of the McKownville Improvement Association in Guilderland said much of the area has been without power since Thursday, Dec. 11. Reeb said some neighbors have been assisting one another by providing power cords to keep sump pumps running and providing them with hot showers.

Both the Guilderland and Bethlehem central school districts faced repercussions from the storm, and were forced to close all schools on Friday, Dec. 12. Two Bethlehem schools, Hamagrael and Clarksville, were still closed on Monday, as well as the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district, because of power outages.

In addition, both North and South Colonie Central school districts were closed on the Friday after the storm.

Colonie town officials said they waited for the county to declare a state of emergency, as 19,000 residents and businesses were without power, according to Town Supervisor Paula Mahan.

"This storm was just devastating," she said, explaining that the inclement weather caused not only buildings to lose power, but traffic lights to go out all across town as well.

Mahan said that by the time Gov. David Paterson declared the state of emergency, the town had already used all of its resources, including placing police officers throughout the town on overtime, all fire departments, EMS, and Department of Public Works services. Mahan also said that the town's highway department began salting the roads on Thursday evening, and continued through Monday.

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