Road conditions improving, but commuters facing other issues

Cars encased in ice, drivers facing danger from ice flying off other cars

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The commute home was much different than the commute to work this morning.

Snow blowers sounded more like blenders Tuesday morning as they churned more ice than fluffy snow. But for Frank Niemiec, it was still better than shoveling. “It’s a little slower, but it’s coming out pretty good,” he said, referring to his snow blower. Across the street, his neighbor found shoveling the driveway was more like moving shards of glass than powdery flakes. A fresh layer of snow followed by sleet and freezing rain early in the morning blanketed Western Massachusetts in a thick layer of ice. People walked on the sides of treated streets rather than risking a fall on icy, snow-covered sidewalks.

It took Chicopee residents much longer to clear off their cars than it would after a typical snow storm. “The snow wasn’t bad, but the ice, it’s all over your car. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to get it off, and you’ve got to be careful not to break your windows or crack your mirrors. It was pretty thick,” said James Ryan of Chicopee. He cleared what he could, but was waiting for warmer temperatures to melt the rest. That warmup did come. Within just a few hours, layers of snow and ice that made the sidewalks impassable, melted away, leaving behind just a few puddles.

Raymond Maynard of Chicopee said while he’s used to New England’s wild winters, he did have one concern. “The winter, the roof, it’s what 42 years old, the house, it should hold up but you never know what’s going to happen,” said Maynard. In the meantime, he was going to enjoy February’s extreme cold and snow from the comfort of his warm home.

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