The storm wasn’t going to start for nearly 24 hours, but public works crews were ready yesterday.
They had already fueled up their plows and spreaders, and were ready to hit the roads when the snowflakes started to fly.
Schools were preparing, too — to stay closed in some cases. By 5 p.m., Pinkerton Academy, Londonderry, Derry, Windham and Timberlane schools had announced classes would be canceled today.
Those who must be out on the roads were well prepared.
“We’ve taken all the necessary precautions to make sure everything is ready,” Salem public works director Rick Russell said yesterday morning. “All the equipment is ready to go.”
The Salem crew and public works employees throughout Southern New Hampshire were preparing for a lengthy day of plowing, sanding and salting. They were also looking ahead toward another possible storm Sunday.
“It will be a long day for our drivers, but that’s what they do,” Derry public works director Michael Fowler said.
Cancellations started to roll in early yesterday afternoon, postponing community events and Gov. Maggie Hassan’s State of the State address. Some school closings were announced, including the University of New Hampshire.
By the time the snow finally stops at about 8 p.m., there should be 10 to 14 inches on the ground, according to Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
That compares to 8 to 10 inches forecast for Concord and only 4 inches in northern New Hampshire, Curtis said.
The heaviest snow will fall by midday, she said. Temperatures will be in the 20s.
“Southern New Hampshire will be seeing the higher amounts,” she said. “It will be snowing throughout the day, but there will be no blowing snow or wind. It’s expected to be an all-snow event.”
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through tonight, advising of heavy snow that could make for difficult traveling conditions.