Crews work overtime to deal with winter's latest blastBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
February 14. 2014 8:36PM
NASHUA — With a second round of snow expected to approach sometime Saturday, snowplows were out in full force on Friday preparing for more wintry weather.
“All of the crews are working diligently. They are tired, very tired,” said Eric Ryder, superintendent of streets for Nashua’s Public Works Division. “This last storm was a long one, but the crews have done a phenomenal job.”
Snow started falling on Thursday morning, switching over early Friday morning to rain and eventually back to snow by the morning commute on Friday, which prompted school officials to cancel classes for the second day in a row.
In Manchester, crews came off a shift of plowing for 28 hours around 11:30 Friday morning.
“We sent them home for about eight, nine hours of sleep, then we want them right back out there again,” said Jeff Freitas, a dispatcher with the Manchester’s Department of Public Works. “The same guys who clear the streets are the ones who clear the sidewalks, so that’s what they are going to concentrate on Friday night.”
Freitas said crews were busy Friday afternoon clearing catch basins around Manchester, which were already starting to freeze up in spots like Campbell Street as the sun went down.
Freitas said the forecasts he saw called for another two to four inches to fall in the Queen City this afternoon and tonight.
“It’s hard to get caught up when it just keeps coming,” said Freitas. “I know spring will come some day, just not quick enough.”
In Nashua, the task later Friday was to get out-of-the-way places ready for the next blast of winter.
“Clean up is going well. The roads are in good condition, although we have had our trouble spots,” Ryder said Friday afternoon after the nor’easter had passed. “The main roads are done and we are focusing on the secondary roadways now.”
About 65 pieces of plow equipment are working overtime to clear Nashua’s roadways, said Ryder, who said an additional 15 private contractors are also helping with the cleanup efforts.
Ryder said he expects anywhere from one to four inches of additional snow from today’s anticipated storm.
Crews will begin clearing Nashua sidewalks this weekend, although the timing of today’s storm may delay or alter those plans, according to Ryder.
“We are waiting to see what this second storm brings, and then we will jump on the sidewalks,” Ryder added.
Justin Kates, director of Nashua’s Office of Emergency Management, said there were no major problems and no power outages reported from the recent snowfall.
“At this point in February, I feel like it never ends. Honestly, I am pretty done with it,” Kates said of the snow. “I’ve had enough.” The recent storm dumped more than eight inches of snow on the Nashua region.
The major priority in Nashua is keeping the roads plowed and promptly getting all of the sidewalks cleared for pedestrians, said Kates.
Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said the city has about $230,000 left in its snow removal budget of about $1.3 million. However, she said there is a snow removal trust fund of $300,000 that may be utilized if necessary.
Meanwhile, Nashua fire officials are asking residents to shovel out any nearby fire hydrants so that crews may have quick access in the case of an emergency.