snow plows

With Snow Headed for Mass., Are Cities and Homeowners Ready to Plow It?

Homeowners are having a hard time finding people to plow -- and paying a premium for it -- while cities have been stockpiling salt.

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As landscapers transition seemingly overnight from fall leaf cleanup to winter snow removal, their services are definitely in high demand this year.

"I'm hoping for snow," plow truck driver Asmin Fabian said.

Plow driver Julian Rios said, "Hopefully we get a storm, hopefully not, but that's money in our pockets, you know? We plow. We do it, rise and shine."

That means homeowners are having a hard time finding people to plow -- and paying a premium for it.

The demand for drivers ahead of the winter is such that cities and towns across the state are offering some eye-catching incentives.

"For my mother, I got a quote for like hundreds, hundreds per storm and she used to pay her guy like $35," said Dawn Baez of Lawrence.

Staffing shortages and supply chain issues also threatened to significantly slow municipal snow cleanup this season.

But with incentives and a huge hiring push weeks before the flakes began to fall, many public works departments -- including in Lawrence -- say they should be in pretty good shape once Mother Nature really begins to churn out the snow this winter.

"The mayor ordered to get whatever we need, so we're getting new equipment, we're hiring new personnel," said said Jorge Jaime, with the Lawrence Department of Public Works.

Mass Department of Transportation Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said, "Anybody who has to manage snow and ice would tell you, we'll take more if we can get them."

Snowflakes are falling on Wednesday and we have the forecast on what you can expect.

The state's snow removal staffing levels are on par with last year, he said, and there are local salt pile reserves in case we get some large storms.

But that doesn't mean officials aren't planning ahead to make sure they don't run out later in the season.

"Any year, salt can be in short supply and with the supply chain issues that we're having this year, we're certainly keeping a very, very close eye on our supply chain, making sure that we get it when we need it," Gulliver said.

With the ground as warm as it is, the Department of Transportation said a little bit of salt should help melt most of it.

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