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February 5, 2014

Snowstorm could dump more than a foot

Storm may dump up to 14 inches of snow today


New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman William Boynton said state roads would likely be treated with salt brine before the snow hit. He said crews would be out in full force during the storm.

Message boards will be illuminated on major highways, including Interstate 93, to warn motorists to drive slowly and cautiously, Boynton said.

“People need to plan accordingly,” he said. “You can’t get to the work in the same time you usually would.”

Many people took advantage of the calm before the storm yesterday to stock up on food and other supplies.

Shoppers began flocking to Market Basket in Londonderry as early as 7 a.m., assistant manager Jim Theriault said.

“It’s been busier than usual,” he said.

Although it may seem like a snowy winter, the totals have been below average, Curtis said.

As of yesterday, 34.5 inches of snow had fallen in Concord this winter, compared to the average of 36.6 inches, she said.

“But (today’s) 10 inches will change that in a day,” Curtis said.

The next snowstorm will begin Sunday night and last through Monday morning, but Curtis declined to say how much snow is expected.

“It’s still too far ahead to nail down the totals,” she said.

There may not have been record snow totals, but winter weather has taken a toll on public works crews.

A dusting of snow Sunday night and then again Monday — causing a flurry of minor accidents — sent public works crews out sanding and salting roads. In Londonderry alone, there were eight accidents in a three-hour period Monday afternoon, Detective Christopher Olson said.

The weather has also taken a toll on winter maintenance budgets.

Derry could easily expend the remainder of its $607,000 winter budget by the end of today’s storm, Fowler said. That means additional money would have to be taken from other areas of his budget to fund any other snow and ice removal expenses, he said.

Boynton said DOT recently ordered an additional 21,000 tons of salt to ensure it had enough. The state has spent $27.3 million, or 65 percent, of its $42 million winter maintenance budget.

“Obviously, it’s a been a challenging winter so far,” he said. “We are clearly ahead of where we expected to be based on average totals.”

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