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The Southern Dutchess News has served the area south of Poughkeepsie with news and features since 1959. It is an official newspaper of Dutchess County by vote of the Dutchess County Legislature. The Southern Dutchess News serves Spackenkill, Wappingers Falls, East Fishkill, Fishkill and Beacon.  Coverage includes local town, village and school news and features, Dutchess County Legislature, county legal notices, obituaries, plus coverage of arts and entertainment, hospitals and health, education, libraries and local businesses and organizations.

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3/22/17 Highlights of this week's edition...

Snowstorm bashes Dutchess

Highway crews praised for extraordinary effort

By Ray Fashona
and Kristine Coulter

(Continued from cover) Dutchess County Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Robert Balkind said Wednesday, “highway crews have been on county roadways since the start of the storm at 1 a.m. on Tuesday.” He said county roads were reported in good condition Wednesday, with crews “continuing to work today applying materials for icy conditions as well as pushing back snow banks and opening up visibility at intersections.”

“We are grateful for the cooperation and patience from the public throughout the storm in order to ensure the safety of residents and snow removal crews,” said County Executive Marcus Molinaro. “We are deeply appreciative to our county DPW highway crews, as well as the state and local municipal crews who have been working long hours throughout the day and night to ensure our roadways are clear and safe to travel.”

Molinaro declared a state of emergency March 14, banning travel on public road. It was lifted at 4 a.m. on March 15.

“The public is urged to continue to avoid travel if possible, but for those who need to drive, leave extra time and use extreme caution,” Molinaro added. “Many secondary roads are not in good condition yet and there are very high snow mounds at many intersections making visibility limited.”

The County Executive urged all Dutchess School districts to close March 15, which they did. Some closed again on Thursday.

Snow totals ranged from 19.5 inches in Wappinger and Hyde Park to 26 inches in Red Oaks Mill and Pine Plains, according to Wasula. He added that pinpointing exact amounts was difficult because of all the blowing snow.

Read the full story in this week’s print edition.

Williams in Rhinebeck to rebuild after partial roof collapse

A section of the roof approximately 125 feet by 30 feet collapsed under the weight of shifting snow at the Williams Lumber & Home Center store in Rhinebeck on Wednesday, March 15. No one was injured and rebuilding plans are currently under way. Courtesy photo

By Curtis Schmidt

The owners and staff at Williams Lumber & Home Centers main store on Route 9 in Rhinebeck are thankful there were no injuries in last week’s partial roof collapse and are now focused on rebuilding.

A massive amount of shifting snow resulting from last Tuesday’s Nor’easter caused a section of the roof approximately 125 feet by 30 feet to collapse at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, according to officials from the Rhinebeck Fire Department. Snowfall reports from around Dutchess County averaged 22-plus inches.

The area underneath the collapse houses the Electric and Kitchen Departments.

The store is currently closed and plans are to re-open in approximately10 days when partial demolition and inspections can take place. The lumber yard is open – but only for contractors.

“We are so thankful that nobody was hurt. That was our main interest - to make sure that everyone got out of the building safely,” said Sandy Williams, president. “All of the stuff in here can be replaced, but lives can’t be replaced.”

Senior Vice-President Kim Williams said, “Right now we are focused on rebuilding and opening up for our community. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from our contractors, our community members and from those that treat us as family.”

Sandy Williams said engineers reported that “the way the snow moved created our collapse. There was nothing we could do about it. We were just in an unfortunate area in an unfortunate snowstorm.” He added, “This was a very unusual incident. We’ve had snow fall here before and we’ve had to clean off our roof before.”

The press release from the Rhinebeck Fire Department noted that one individual was pinned under the collapse; however, upon their arrival it was determined that all employees and customers had safely evacuated the building, including the person reported pinned.

Read the full story in this week’s print edition.

Also in the Mar. 22-28, 2017 issue:

  • Gas explosion destroys Joseph's Steakhouse

A propane tank reportedly exploded on Monday afternoon at approximately 2 p.m. and the resulting fire destroyed most of Joseph's Steakhouse building on Route 9G in Hyde Park.
- Photo by Robert Kampf


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