Season’s first big snow storm set to hit Wednesday night
John Stone has been monitoring the weather forecast since Friday.
That’s when reports seemed to solidify around the prediction that the South Shore would get its first big snowfall of the winter season this week.
Now, 24 hours out from the storm, and with Abington penciled in for about a foot of frosty powder, Abington’s Department of Public Works Director, says his team is ready.
“They know what it entails,” Stone said about his 11-person department. “We’ve been through it a number of times before.”
Around 650 tons of salt sits in a pair of storage sheds waiting to be spread on the town’s roadways [this winter, not all tomorrow]. Public works employees have been looking over its inventory of plows, blades, and blowers. A group of 10 private contractors are also ready to dispatch plows to help clear the town’s 60 miles of roadways.
At its peak, Stone estimates there will be 45 pieces of equipment deployed across the town, working around the clock starting Wednesday evening.
“[The drivers] know they’ll be out all night tomorrow night,” Stone said. “Hopefully they’ll get home Thursday night at some point.”
Stone said the plow crews may be helped by the fact the town’s students are currently learning remotely. Instead of rushing to clear sidewalks along school routes, crews may be able to rest first before tackling those tasks.
Snow is expected to start falling around 7 p.m. Wednesday night and continue into Thursday afternoon. The line between fluffy snow and heavy, wet snow continues to shift over the South Shore; a fluffier snowfall may mean more accumulation, but shoveling a lesser amount of heavy, wet snow is even less fun.
“I’d really like a smaller storm for the first one to make sure everything goes good, but this is what we’re getting, so we have no choice,” Stone said.
Abington Police sent out a message to town residents Tuesday afternoon asking them to limit their travel during the storm. Street parking is also prohibited, as is shoveling or plowing snow into or across public roadways.
“Please don’t push snow into the road,” Stone said. “It’s a waste of the taxpayer’s money, because we have to just go and plow it again.”
Abington Fire asks residents to clear a four-foot space around fire hydrants in order to make sure the hydrants are accessible during a fire.
Stone also asked residents to clear storm drains in order to prevent water from melting snow ponding and then freezing in roadways.