While the 10th Mountain Division is frequently mocked for being far from mountains, one thing is for certain- they have been known for putting up with the snow.
Such is the case for the predominantly New York-based unit, who battles long deployment schedules, strict gun control, and most recently, the vicious polar vortex that hit the area on Thursday, dumping more snow than any sane person could ever want.
As the storm hit Fort Drum on Thursday afternoon, 3-3.5 inches compiled every hour at some points in the day. Within the past three days, 26.8 inches of the white stuff have inundated the city of Watertown and its neighboring military installation.
At one point, the snow became so bad, that the snowplows in the nearby town of Lyme were pulled off the road on Wednesday night, citing poor visibility as a safety concern.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office put out a “strict no unnecessary travel” advisory in some places, urging people to stay off the roads. In a rare move for such a cold-seasoned state, the county declared a state of emergency.
Various videos posted to Snapchat show the harsh conditions, especially for those who lack transportation suited for the snow. In one video, a soldier mocked another soldier for owning a high-priced Ford Mustang that was stuck on the road.
In the nearby town of Dexter, one woman was found dead in a snowbank in front of a house, with authorities claiming she was not dressed for near-zero temperatures.
Fort Drum has informed all personnel (at least the non-emergency and nonessential personnel, anyway) to stay home.
“We urge all members of the Fort Drum community to exercise caution when traveling and practice good winter-weather safety,” the installation said in a statement.
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