Wintry weather wreaks havoc for holiday travelers, last-minute shoppers

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (13WHAM) - Wintry weather hit the Rochester-area and surrounding counties hard on Saturday afternoon, as morning rain quickly turned to heavy snow.

The mix resulted in several inches of slush piled up on local roads and highways, as well as parking lots at busy shopping centers. The precipitation led to slower-moving, congested roadways for holiday travelers and last minute Christmas gift shoppers.

"As long as you go slow, you’re fine," said Walworth resident Tim Streb, who drove to Webster on Saturday for church and stayed to get his final Christmas gifts. "Drive careful and watch out for the other guy, it might be me."

Streb said he drove about 15-20 mph under the speed limit to Webster.

"They are not good," said Streb. "Expressway wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t snow covered. But the backroads, they’re not good at all."

"I've seen a lot of people in the ditch, especially the smaller cars," said Andrea Crespo, who went last minute shopping at Kohl's in Webster with Peter Belmont.

They were prepared for the snow in Peter's Hummer.

Although safer in the bigger vehicle, Crespo said the roads were not ideal for travel.

"Icy, obviously; wet, slick, probably not very safe," said Crespo. "If there's anybody who can do their shopping online to avoid anything I'd recommend it."

"They're a mess- slushy," said Belmont. "If you don't have four wheel drive or all-wheel drive, you're going to be in trouble."

But not all shuttered away from the snowfall, especially those who make money off it.

"I like this- this is what we get paid for," said snowplow driver Matt Cerracha.

Cerracha said he was glad to be out plowing, but even he found navigating the congested, snow-covered roads in Webster to be a headache.

"It's a headache for us, too," said Cerracha. "I mean, we're trying to clear the best we can doing this for our customers."

The Rochester-area won't get much of a break from the snow, as another round is expected the night of Christmas Eve, lasting until Christmas morning.

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