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Ice Storm Can’t Stop Love, Marriage

January 11, 1998

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (AP) _ With much of northern New York paralyzed because of a record-breaking ice storm, it appeared Jeremy and Christine Devins’ Saturday nuptials here would have to be canceled.

But with Devins, an airman, set to leave for his job at Luke Air Force Base outside Phoenix on Tuesday, postponing the nuptials was not an option.

``We had our apartment in Arizona set up and everything,″ Devins said. ``There was no question we were going to get married.″

The couple didn’t flinch when they learned on Friday that the Wesleyan Methodist Church and its minister had backed out of the wedding because of the brutal storm. They planned.

The bride’s mother, Diana Soloski, went though the phone book trying to find a suitable location for the ceremony, and finally came upon a banquet hall at Plattsburgh’s Howard Johnson’s hotel, if it still had power the next day. About two-thirds of the North Country was without electricity.

The couple scheduled a justice of the peace for the next afternoon and let guests, along with the rest of Clinton County, know the wedding was still on by broadcasting the announcement over the region-wide radio station, WIRY.

On Saturday, Clinton County was still under a state of emergency, and only ``critical″ vehicles were allowed on the road.

``When the police stopped us and asked what were doing out in this weather, we said were going to a wedding,″ said guest Lyn Corran, who had to shower beforehand at a relative’s because, like many rural residents, she had no power for her electric water pump. ``That was good enough for them.″

Meanwhile, since the caterer cancelled, Soloski went to buy food for the reception that afternoon at local grocery stores, which were open for a few hours Saturday.

``The lines were a mile long, but people kept letting me go to the front because they had heard about the wedding on the radio,″ she said.

After assembling a buffet of chips, salads and sausages, she put disposable cameras on the reception tables to replace the photographer who couldn’t show.

To get the wedding dresses and tuxedos, the couple called in the owner of the Wedding Bell, which was closed because of the power outages. They poked through the shop with flashlights to find the formal wear for their wedding.

About 60 people made it to the wedding Saturday, and only one member of the wedding party was too iced in to brave the roads in northern Clinton county.

If they aren’t frozen in, the couple will head to sunny Arizona on Tuesday.

``I cant wait,″ said Mrs. Devins. ``I’d leave right now if I could.″

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