Final Preparations as Storm Moves Into New England

With snow and freezing rain expected to blanket the region, it's important to be prepared

Final preparations are being made as a winter storm inches its way toward New England.

"It's the first big snow storm of the season. It's exciting," Jason Roberts, a plow driver in Leominster, Massachusetts, said.

While some dread snow storms, Roberts is looking forward to spending four to eight hours in the confines of his truck.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook to get their driveways plowed," he said.

With 35 driveways to take care of and a pay day of $2,000 coming his way, Roberts is ready to get behind the wheel. But he also understands that it will be hard work.

"This storm is gonna be a little tricky... the weight of the snow is gonna be a problem. I definitely think a lot of plow drivers will get stuck or slide off the road."

Douglas Roberto is the watchdog back at the Leominster Public Works. He's the guy behind the scenes who makes sure all of the salt and plow trucks are ready to go.

He says his biggest concern is ice on the roads.

"We have police calling and mentioning where there are slippery spots. And the men upfront are coordinating where they go," Roberto said. "What's wet on Sunday will freeze on Monday and that's the real— and if that starts to build up on trees and wire that's the real threat."

And Leominster has some perks for its citizens who usually find themselves in the snow belt: free sand and salt for anyone who needs it.

"It's cheap and it's a good way to be prepared," Kevin Buckley, who was preparing for the big storm, said.

Leominster has its trucks ready to roll out at a moment's notice.

"We have 160 pieces of equipment ready to go. We've already pre-treated the streets," Mayor Dean Mazzarella said.

And for the second time ever, the city is making sure anyone without the ability to stay warm and dry is taken care of.

"The City of Leominster has opened up an emergency warming center over on Carter Street," Assistant Manager at Ginny's Helping Hand Brandon Robbins said.

With all of the preparation done, Roberts is waiting for the snow to start piling up.

"It's fun to just push the snow," Roberts said. "When you see it rolling off your plow it's really cool. And afterwards you're like 'Wow.' It's nice to look back at your work and say, 'I did that.'"

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, Leominster has gotten more rain than anything else. But the salt trucks are already attacking it in order to keep ice off of the roadways.

Keeping the roads clear is the first priority for transportation officials during this storm. Plow trucks in Weston, Massachusetts had already loaded up and hit the roads Saturday morning ahead of the incoming storm.

The city of Boston has 42,000 tons of salt on hand, ready to go.

With snow and freezing rain expected to blanket the region, it's important to be prepared.

Sleet is expected to follow freezing rain, which could make for very dangerous driving conditions, which is why it's important for transportation officials to get out on the roads early before the storm even hits.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker warned Friday that this storm could leave a big mess and he wants everyone to stay off the roads.

"Ton of work that the public transportation folks have done on the transit routes with respect to the trees and the utilities and ongoing regular programs with respect to dealing with trees as well around their powerlines. But that’s obviously something people are going to be paying a lot of attention to given the nature of the winds in the storm, the sudden accumulation, and the fact that in some parts of Massachusetts it's probably going to rain and then it’s gonna freeze.”

People are encouraged to shovel their driveways and walkways but to not undo all the work done by plows.

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