February 07. 2013 10:52PM

In Derry, storm is big, but timing is not bad

Union Leader Correspondent

DERRY - Although New England residents are looking at the potential for the biggest winter storm in several years, the timing could work to the advantage of those trying to keep ahead of the storm as well as those preparing to clean up after it's gone.

In Derry, the public works department is closely monitoring the storm predicted for Friday and Saturday.

"Crews will be preparing for the upcoming storm by checking their equipment and taking care of last minute details," said public works director Mike Fowler. "We expect that a full complement of DPW drivers and contracted equipment will be responding to the storm."

Fowler said he hopes that snow will be the major problem associated with the storm, as heavy winds could complicate the town's efforts if roads are blocked or power is out.

"The start of the storm will be critical, as it relates to the Friday (afternoon) commute," said Fowler. "The heavier snow accumulations are predicted to start later Friday evening into early Saturday morning. Our crews will likely be combating this storm most of the day Saturday until the storm dissipates."

He said the good news is that an overnight weekend storm gives crews the chance to clear the roads without dealing with weekday commuters, giving them the opportunity to be ready for Monday's commute and possible school openings.

"We would remind our residents to obey the overnight parking ban, which prohibits vehicles from parking on town roads between midnight and 6 a.m.," said Fowler. "Also, residents and businesses are reminded that it is illegal to deposit their snow in a public right-of-way. These measures will aid in our efforts to expediently clean the streets over the next few days."

During the first major snowfall of the season just after Christmas, there were some issues raised by Councilor Brian Chirichiello about snow removal on local sidewalks.

Town administrator John Anderson noted that crews were using new sidewalk snow removal equipment, but that he would address the issue.

At a town council meeting earlier this week, Chirichiello praised improved town cleanup efforts during more recent storms.