By Jesse Perlmutter
Just when we thought that the weather couldn’t get much worse, Mother Nature proved us wrong. Armonk received about three inches of snow on April 2nd and that’s no April Fools joke! The last time New Yorkers saw an April snowfall was in 2014. With four nor’easters in less than 20 days during March, this prolonged 2017-2018 winter has been one of the worst, and one that none of us will forget!
Due to this winter’s snowfall, Byram students received six snow days and had to make up two days of school earlier this month on April 3rd and 4th—two days that were initially designated towards Spring Break. It is hard to believe that even in April winter is still holding on. Even with all the days they got off, were the Byram Hills students really so lucky?
With many power outages and dangerous conditions, many Byram families were left hotel-hopping throughout the storms and stressing about when their electricity would turn back on. Olivia Scaglione, a freshman at BHHS explains, “During the storm the wind caused a gigantic tree to fall down. It crashed right into our yard and completely destroyed our fence.” Trees were blocking the entryways to the school and most Armonk families were without power for multiple days. Another Byram student said, “My family lost power for almost 4 days. We really became cognizant of how much we rely on electricity.”
Due to the impact of the storm, it robbed many families of their electricity and WiFi. This made it impossible for students to get their homework done since most of their work is online. In school, teachers were understanding for students who were without wifi. Mr. Twardy, a Byram Hills Science teacher, comments, “I think you don’t have a choice but to be flexible. A lot of students legitimately didn’t have the work done because they didn’t have power or they lost internet access. There is the occasional kid that tries to pull one over on their teacher, but by and large, we have great students here and I think being flexible is the best way to handle it.”
This hectic winter also took its toll on many teachers at Byram Hills. “A lot of teachers at Byram live in Putnam County or Dutchess County. In particular this year we had a lot of storms that were worse in that area. There were days where there were 12-inches or more at my house and only 2 inches or so in Armonk. This meant I had to wake up early and shovel snow in order to come in on a 2-hour delay,” explained another Byram Hills teacher.
When the snow starts to fall, Armonk has its own ‘first responder.’ This man instantaneously clears snow from many Armonk driveways. Behind the scenes of the snowstorm is a Byram Hills alum named “Awesome”—and yes, that’s really his name. After graduating Byram in 1973 he created his own snow removal business. This season, in particular, has been awesome for Awesome. “The more snow the better we do in business, so overall this season went really well. Per year there are usually about 10 or 12 plowable snowstorms, and this year we’ve had about 16,” said Awesome. He is the first person on the roads and stays up all night to see Armonk’s beautiful snowfall. “After plowing it’s amazing to be the first person out on the roads especially because there’s no traffic!” exclaimed Awesome.
Regardless of who you are, a student, a teacher, a parent, or Awesome himself, this year’s crazy weather has impacted us all!