This week's Nor'easter closes schools for two days, dumping as much as two feet of snow in the area

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  • Where's the car? Photographer Judy Ronay shared this image of her neighbor's driveway on Lakes Road in Monroe after Stella passed through.

  • Photo by Judy Ronay There's a saying among gardeners that snow is a poor man's fertilizer. That appears to be case at McElroy Place in Monroe in Stella's wake.

  • Photographer Jeanne Paradise King took this photo of a soccer field at the Earl Reservoir Park in Highland Mills. "I thought this was kind of sad and comical considering opening weekend for soccer and baseball was supposed to be March 24/25th," she wrote. "We will be lucky if we are playing by the end of April."

  • Are those really cars? Greenwood Lake resident Michelle Bernieri, the wellness director at the South Orange Family YMCA, lives along Route 17A, and these are her cars, which were encased in snow due to the many passes of state and town snow plows. She said numerous drivers stopped to take cell phone photographs of her vehicles, seemingly amazed that cars could be that embedded in the snow. Yes, they have since been freed up from the snow.

  • The Monroe-Woodbury Transportation Department had its hands full getting the district's fleet ready to roll on Thursday morning. This not only required digging out the buses but clearing off the snow on all buses as well.

  • Photos provided Michelle Kogan of Highland Mills was one of many area residents posting photos of rulers documenting snowfall amounts during the height of this past week's Nor'easter. This tally of nearly 20 inches was taken mid-afternoon on Tuesday while snow was still falling.

  • "The snow blower is 24 inches high," wrote Monroe resident Beth Zeman on her Facebook page during Tuesday's storm. Many area residents expressed confidence that snowfall amounts were close to two feet or more.

  • Highland Mills resident Bennett Kogan and Kaya enjoy some fresh, snowy air during the storm.

  • Trish DeBari of Central Valley shared this photo taken with her iPhone prior to winter storm Stella. "Hoping my guy grows bigger and greener after tomorrow," she wrote. "He is packed solid so maybe he'll hang around long enough to put bunny ears on him for Easter."

By Nancy Kriz

Though Spring is just days away, Winter wasn't ready to relinquish its hold on the area this past week when a Nor'easter barreled through, leaving almost two feet of snow in parts of Orange County.

Schools were closed back-to-back days. Many school districts took the unusual measure of notifying parents the day before of the closings, delighting students while giving parents extra time to make alternate plans if necessary.

When possible, the norm seemed to be for people to work from their homes, ensuring as much of the Tuesday business day could continue.

Most businesses seem to be closed, however, including the Empire Diner in Monroe, which noted it on its Facebook page that it would be closed on Tuesday, and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley.

Even the huge Crystal Run Healthcare practice was closed, in addition to smaller practices such as Monroe Pediatrics, which alerted patients on Monday that its office would be closed due to the weather on Tuesday.

Weather updates were easy to find. Local amateur weather prognosticators kept their friends and family up-to-date on the latest weather forecasts via social media, providing maps and observations rivaling the quality of reports seen on television.

On Wednesday, the county executive's office released statistics tied to the storm, dubbed "Stella" by the Weather Channel. According to that office, the highest snowfall amount was reported on Stone Schoolhouse Road in Wallkill, with 26 inches, with Merriwold Lane North in Monroe reporting 15 inches.

But area residents would beg to differ, noting on social media platforms that snowfall amounts were closer to the two foot range - or higher - in many parts of The Photo News' readership area. Posted photos often supported their commentary.

And, snow is in the forecast for this weekend.

How little or how much? It depends on which weather models or forecasters you favor.

Just a reminder: Spring begins at 6:28 a.m. on Monday.

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