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January 03. 2014 11:26PM

Wind, cold complicate storm cleanup efforts

NASHUA — As the city continues to dig out from the big storm, crews will be busy this weekend clearing snow from secondary roadways and sidewalks.

"We have about 55 pieces of equipment out right now clearing the roads throughout Nashua," Eric Ryder, superintendent of streets for the city said on Friday. "Our main priority is keeping the roads open and passable for emergency safety vehicles."

Ryder said Friday that the cleanup process is going well, but acknowledged the difficulties created by single-digit temperatures and blustery winds.

"The cold temperatures and wind is not helping us. The treatment and salt doesn't work in these kinds of conditions," said Ryder, adding that public works crews are working around the clock to ensure safe roads.

About 65 city workers are helping to clear the streets from snow, and Ryder said residents — for the most part — are cooperating by removing their vehicles from the streets as much as possible.

All 12 of the priority routes were cleared by Friday morning, and crews were beginning to plow the secondary roadways throughout the city, according to Ryder. Once all of the streets have been plowed, which Ryder hoped would be accomplished by Friday night, those same crews are scheduled to begin clearing city sidewalks throughout the night into Saturday morning.

"Things are going pretty smoothly for us. I have been out on the roads checking the progress, and for the most part, they look pretty good," said Justin Kates, director of the city's Office of Emergency Management. "The snow removal process is huge. This is just the start of it."

Kates reminded residents to be patient throughout the process, and urged them to remove their vehicles from the streets whenever possible to allow access for plow trucks.

Once the snow is removed, it is trucked to the Mine Falls Park area, where it is dumped until the spring melt.

"This wasn't a huge storm, but we still have very cold temperatures to be concerned about," Kates said on Friday, noting the temperatures are expected to be sub-zero early Saturday morning.

Kates estimated that Nashua experienced about 8 inches of snowfall by Friday morning, and could see about 10 inches of snow by the end of this weather pattern.

"People are going to be out today and tomorrow clearing the snow, but in these really cold temperatures, they want to take breaks often," he said Friday. "You don't want to be out in these conditions for a significant amount of time."

As residents clear snow from their driveways, he requested, they should consider taking a few extra minutes to remove snow from around fire hydrants in their neighborhoods, making it easier for firefighters to locate hydrants in the case of an emergency.

The city's snow emergency ended at 8 a.m. on Friday.

khoughton@newstote.com


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