This Week in Whitehall – October 31st, 2010

This week we’ve seen continued NYWorks progress at the former Martel’s Auto on Poultney Street.  Excavation continues as new or treated soil fills in the trenches.  Loading of the soil begins very early in the morning and continues through the day.

Hometown paving of former OLA Lot
Hometown paving of former OLA Lot

The site of the former OLA Church was paved over this week.  Previously it was a gravel lot for Hometown Chevy, but now has been paved over including two raised parking steps for featured vehicles.

On Thursday paving began on the related roadways in the Saunders, Division, Broadway bridge tunnel project.  The roadway was paved down past the Post Office on Broadway.  Saunders Street was paved and work on Division Street looks nearly done.  The bridge concrete seems nearly level with the repaved roadway, and looks ready for paving of it’s own.  I expect it to be open in a few weeks.

And on Sunday, we got a taste of Winter’s first snow squalls.  Down on South Bay we received some pretty heavy squalls of flurries and sleet.  With the day time temperature in the 40s, there was no accumulation, but demonstrates the winter to  come.  By “Trick or Treat” time, the skies had cleared up ending with a sunny afternoon.

First Snow of Fall 2010

Snow Flake Captured October 22nd, 2010
The first snowflake?
As October gets colder the first flurries have fallen on Whitehall this Friday, October 22nd. While the air and ground temperature is too high for any “sticking” snow, that doesn’t mean the upper air temperature cannot produce us a few flurries here and there. There is even a potential for some actual real snow fall this weekend.

Over the past week bridge work continued on Broadway. Division street was dug up Thursday as well. Concrete is poured trucks stop by regularly, forcing one lane traffic on Broadway in front of the Presbyterian Church.

NYWorks continues digging up soil at the former Martel’s Auto. A sizable crater has formed in between Top Dogs and former service station’s building. I’ve seen a few pre-dawn dump truck loading sessions on my way past.

October’s Icy Fog

October continues getting cold as the first killing frosts have started to brown up the shorter grass. A thick fog settled over the village several days this week, including some frost for some window scraping on the morning commute.   Several wind storms have removed a bulk of the leaves from the trees. Sunrise is now later in the day as we approach winter.

Former Martel's Auto Soil Excavation The former Martel’s Auto has seen some activity.  NY Works has begun excavation of soil.  After excavation, the soil is removed. The excavation activities will likely reduce the probability of the temporary truck inspection stations that have been set up in this area.

The Town of Whitehall recently decided that it may be moving into the Skenesborough Firehouse, and occupying a majority of the “carpeted” space. This move will take the Town offices from the canal building to the firehouse just a few hundred feet up the road. The Town of Whitehall has been occupying the canal building since a neighboring fire forced them from the previous office, now currently occupied by City Steaks and Seafood.

In other town discussions, recently the town decided to discontinue payments for free electricity offered on the canal wall behind the museum. This will reduce canal wall boat parking, but hopes to increase use of the two Marinas below lock 12 to the north, whom recently announced their pending closure.

Fall Begins

The leaves hit peak over this past week giving spectacular sites.  Weekend traffic slightly increased as “leaf peepers” took to the streets.

During the week, the large Niagara Prince rolled through town.  The ship usually passes through Whitehall this time of year giving canal area tours and has a cabin capacity of roughly 93.

Also on the water, the Lois McClure was moored by the Skenesborough Museum.  The Lois McClure is an 1862 replica canal sailing boat.  It arrives and moores for a few days each year and has been a frequent stop for tourists and field trip destination for schools.

The Saunders / Division / Broadway railroad bridge / tunnel work continues.  Division Street was dug up this week and new drainage installed along the south edge of the road.  A concrete spreading rig was craned in a few weeks ago and several times the scissoring cement truck’s spout has been seen on Broadway, forcing one lane traffic.

Stewarts construction work seems nearly complete.  On friday (October 8th, 2010) the store resumed pumping gas from the new tanks.  The new digital gas display sign is now lit, and the canopy has received the new trim featured on many area Stewarts.

Run off From Tropical Storm Nicole

Nicole soaks Whitehall

Run off From Tropical Storm NicoleThe former tropical storm Nicole dumped 3.42¹ inches of rain on Whitehall beginning Thursday evening, September 30th, 2010, and continued throughout Friday.  The rain began slowly Thursday evening, but at about 10:30pm the heaviest rainfall began.

Gusts reached up to 42mph¹ and an overly saturated ground from a half inch of rain just two days prior caused a large amount of runoff and minor flash flooding.  The Mettawee river crested at 6.59 feet above normal at 6:30pm².

The storm was a good test of the recent construction over the last two years on the storm drainage system.  No significant flooding of village roadways occurred at previous problem spots.

¹ Data according to South Bay Computers weather station at South Bay, Whitehall, NY
² Data according to water.weather.gov station monitoring the Mettawee