Heavy Snow Leaves Plow Drivers Fatigued

As Granite Staters dig out from the second nor'easter in one week, many are sick of shoveling and snow blowing driveways. But what about the plow drivers who are responsible for clearing the streets?

Some of them in Portsmouth say they've racked up more than 100 hours of work in one week.

Whenever Justin Chick climbs into his machine, there's a good chance he won't make it out of there for days. Sometimes he sleeps in the giant yellow front-end loader.

"Oh yeah, late at night, instead of going home for an hour or two, I close the door and turn the heat on," Chick said with a smile.

As much sleep as he's missing, there's only one thing he misses more.

"I've got an 8-year-old son," he said.

The boy's name is Caden and during back-to back-snowstorms like this, there's only one way to see him.

"I make him a little seat in there for him," Chick said. "He loves it, anything to do with dad, he's all about."

Being away from family might be the toughest part of a plow driver's job.

"I get a call from my mother seeing if I am alive," said Joe O'Neill, the owner of O'Neill's Landscaping.

He's only been home for few hours over the past several days.

"Hopefully, we can get to the other side of that and see our family and friends again," O'Neill said Friday afternoon.

James Herrick of Piscataqua Landscaping has been working straight through since Sunday, and he's lost track of time.

"Yeah, I'm pretty tired," Herrick said. "I was counting [hours] for a while, but I started to stop counting because that's when you start to really hate life."

They all say during the height of a storm, they're fueled by the obvious.

"A lot of coffee," O'Neill said.

And they'll only rest when their work is finally done.

"We might be grumpy and tired, but hopefully, when it's over, we sleep for a long time," O'Neill said.

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