Residents and plow drivers are bracing for a snowstorm that could drop nearly a foot of snow on Southern New Hampshire this weekend.
It's expected to be the second major storm to hit in two weeks, but not as powerful as the one that dumped two feet of snow on the region Feb. 8 and 9.
Nevertheless, town public works crews have been busy, preparing for the storm to hit. Store owners said yesterday they were ready in case of a last-minute onslaught of customers looking to stock up on food, snow shovels and salt.
New Hampshire State Police issued a warning to motorists last night, saying travel during the storm could be hazardous. Drivers were also asked to stay off roads if possible to give crews a chance to remove the snow.
The snow is expected to start falling tomorrow night and continue through Sunday afternoon, accumulating up to 10 to 12 inches in this area but not as much farther north, according to Michael Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
"It looks like you could see the most snow in Southern New Hampshire," Kistner said.
But there could also be only 6 inches, depending on whether the weather patterns suddenly change, he said. Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s and some of the snow could be mixed with rain, making it heavy to shovel.
"We will be watching it very closely," Kistner said.
So will plow crews.
Area public works officials said they would be busy getting their plows, salt and sand ready yesterday and today.
"We're keeping our eye on the forecast," said Derry Public Works Director Michael Fowler. "All of our equipment is ready to go and we replenished our supply of salt."
That meant bringing in additional 500 tons of salt, a large chunk of the town's annual supply.