Crews Hard at Work Clearing Roads in Central Mass. - NECN

Crews Hard at Work Clearing Roads in Central Mass.



    Crews hard at work clearing roads in central Mass.

    Holden, Mass. Department of Public Works monitoring storm (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Carosa) - Jim Oberg headed into work just after midnight Thursday morning to start up 13 sanders and 22 plows.

    After 46 years of working with the Department of Public Works in Holden, Mass., he's ready for anything.

    "I've seen it all from ice storms to blizzards - we deal with all of it. We have a great group of guys, we'll get the job done," he says.

    Crews headed out at 2 a.m. to pretreat roads with salt as plows worked all day to make sure roads were safe.

    DPW Director John Woodsmall will be monitoring the storm throughout the night. He's asking drivers to head home as soon as they can and when they do to stay put.

    "The biggest thing for us is to give the plows space - these are big trucks. A lot of obstructions slows them down - they have stop and back up if they are in tight spaces - give them room and let them do the work," he says.

    Along with plowing the roads comes shoveling. Many residents will start to dig out early Friday morning.

    "When you do go out and shovel make sure you warm up your back and legs - stretching is important," Dr. George Debs, a chiropractor, says.

    Dr. Debs says people need to be careful because shoveling can put a lot of stress on the body in a short period of time.

    "It's really important to keep the shovel up front and to push the snow in front - lift with your legs and avoid twisting," he says.

    Debs says hes sees a lot of back and shoulder injuries this time of year but they are preventable.

    "You want to rest several times during shoveling - especially if you feel fatigue coming on - of course if you feel chest pains or if you feel light headed its time to stop," Dr. Debs says.

    Back at the Holden garage, crews are preparing for the worst of the storm. With several inches on the way and frigid temperatures, cleaning up could be a challenge.

    "It's supposed to snow really hard later - we have to keep plowing to stay ahead of the storm so it's going to be a long haul," Oberg says.