COVID May Impact NH's Ability to Plow Roads, Official Says

The NH Department of Transportation's winter maintenance program specialist said that, if a case is reported at a shed where supplies are kept, everyone who works there may have to quarantine

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An official with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation says the pandemic could make it harder to keep roads plowed.

It’s possible an outbreak in some of the state's maintenance sheds timed with a nor’easter could leave some roads unplowed, said David Gray, the department's winter maintenance program specialist.

This weekend’s nor’easter is proving tricky to forecast, NBC10 Boston and NECN Chief Meteorologist Matt Noyes says, but he has all the data on what to expect across New England.

Gray tells The Concord Monitor there are 93 sheds around the state where trucks, equipment and salt or sand supplies are kept. There are between three and 15 state workers in each shed. And the number can double with contractors.

If a case of COVID-19 is reported among those employees, it’s possible that everybody will have to quarantine.

TIMELINE: An Hour-by-Hour Look at This Weekend's Nor'easter

“If COVID goes into a shed and wipes out a shed, then we’ve got to figure out some way of getting that road taken care of. If you’ve got 10 operators, you’ve lost 10 trucks,” he said. “You have to sanitize the shed, find new operators to go into these seats.”

Nevertheless, Department of Transportation vehicles were out plowing the roads Saturday. The agency also reduced speed limits on some highways.

The Associated Press/NBC
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