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Merrimack Valley

February 25, 2013

Late storm makes for a slippery night

Crews were out in force last night trying to keep local streets and roads snow-free as another February storm blanketed the region.

After days of hype and warnings, many expected to awake to big snow piles yesterday. But southern New Hampshire towns only tacked on 2 to 4 inches while the Merrimack Valley accumulated nothing overnight Saturday.

Then, around 4 p.m. yesterday, the snow started falling again and sanders were immediately deployed.

“We’re hoping to maintain everything with (the sanders),” said John Isensee, Lawrence’s acting public works director. He explained that city sanding trucks don’t actually spread salt or sand but liquid magnesium, which is also used by the state to keep roads and streets clear of sand and ice.

“We’ve been sanding all day,” Isensee said last night. He said he was hoping to control clean up from last night’s storm with city crews and not have to call in private contractors.

“We just wait for things to happen and then we react. We are always prepared for it. It just depends when it’s going to happen,” Isensee explained.

In neighboring Methuen, sanding trucks were also out last night. With about 3 inches of snow built up around 8 p.m., Public Works Director Raymond DiFiore anticipated he would need to dispatch plow trucks as the storm tapered off between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until midnight. Forecasters warned that untreated roads and walkways would be slippery. No major accidents were reported last night.

The weather today is expected to be sunny with a high of 40 degrees. Snow is expected again Tuesday night and Wednesday, however.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screennname EagleTribJill.

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