Finally Gearing Up for Snow - NECN

Finally Gearing Up for Snow



    Finally gearing up for snow

    Call it global warming or simply a blessing, this winter has been extremely mild (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    (NECN: Jackie Bruno, Weston, Mass.) - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is gearing up for Saturday's storm, with salt barns at the Weston State Police Barracks filled to the brim, and they have their crews on ready.

    "We all remember when we were kids, we used to jump off our garage roof into snowbanks that were five, six feet high. Now there's no snow," said Allan Stam from Ann Arbor, Mich.

    Call it global warming or simply a blessing, this winter has been extremely mild.

    "I love this mild winter," said Marcia Gregory of Cheshire, Conn. "I wouldn't care if I saw another flake of snow. I hated last winter. I thought it was absolutely discouraging and I never felt that way about any other winter so I'm thrilled with this winter."

    "I own property now so I've become a bit of a grumpy old man on the scheme of things when it snows," said Joran Valdina of Rhinebeck, N.Y. "Ya gotta pay a plowman but I love the snow if it weren't for that."

    The plows aren't the only expenses when a storm comes. Salting the roads can also eat up a budget. Frank DePaola, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Administrator, said a single storm can cost millions of dollars.

    "The average storm would probably be $3-4 million," said DePaola. "Large storms like the Saturday before which went on for more than 12 hours was a little bit more than that but on average $3-4 million."

    But Massachusetts still has plenty of materials and money to handle this weekend's storm. That's good news for snow lovers.

    "I'd like to get some just for once, not for the whole season, just enough so I can drive without any concerns," said Robert O'Neil of Milbury, Mass.

    "If we get some that's fine," said Chris Heon of Shelburne Falls, Mass. "It's been a mild winter, we're used to snow, snow's part of the winter, so that's fine."

    To give you an idea of how little snow we've had this year, the state usually spends about $80 million a year to treat and plow the state's highways. This year they've only spent about $30 million, and they still have about $16 million in their snow budget.