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Snow blows through without much ado

GREENFIELD — The phones of Greenfield public school parents rang at about 6 a.m. Tuesday and students eagerly awaited their fate.

After parents listened to a brief automated message, receivers were hung up, flip-phones were flapped shut, and touchscreen devices got an anti-climactic tap of their “end” buttons. Then came the news.

Sorry, kids, it’s not a snow day.

Though every other public school in the county, including Greenfield Community College, closed for the snowstorm, kids and teachers in Greenfield schools trudged to their desks to squeeze in some learning before an early release around lunchtime.

While children in Montague schools enjoyed a day without class, the town’s emergency workers enjoyed a day without a crash. Montague Police dispatchers said the department didn’t receive word of a single car accident throughout the snowstorm.

Regional dispatchers at Shelburne Control said the agency had several reports of cars spinning out, mostly along Route 2, but that none of the accidents involved injuries or major damage.

State police trooper Matthew Trombley said troopers from the Shelburne barracks were busy responding to minor accidents along Interstate 91.

“We had one crash, and about 10 spin-outs where cars had to be winched out,” said Trombley. He said the most significant accident involved no injuries.

State Police in the Athol barracks said their experience was much the same — no major accidents, just spin-outs requiring a little assistance.

Greenfield Police responded to two minor accidents just before noon, one on Deerfield Street involved two cars, the other, on the Mohawk Trail, involved a single car. According to police logs, neither involved any injuries.

The storm blew out of Franklin County by about 9 p.m., though plows and sanders could be seen cleaning up into the night.

Across the state, in Boston, Secretary of State William Galvin, filling in while Gov. Deval Patrick is in Asia, made the executive decision to send all non-essential state workers home early Tuesday.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino urged his city’s residents to stay off the roads and take public transportation instead, to help keep streets clear for plows and emergency vehicles.

While temperatures in Greenfield started out near zero Tuesday and climbed into the teens, other parts of the Northeast had a much colder awakening.

Temperatures were below zero for many parts of the region Tuesday morning — including minus 27 in Berlin, N.H., and Saranac Lake, N.Y., — and 10 to 15 degrees below normal for this time of year. Temperatures will start to rise as the weekend approaches and could hit 60 in Boston by Sunday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Hawley in Gray, Maine.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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