The first trucks hit the roads Thursday afternoon, coating local streets with a salt brine mixture that should help buy Concord Public Works some time once the snow starts.
And once it starts, it’s not expected to stop until a significant amount of the white stuff has accumulated – as much as 18 to 24 inches over Friday and Saturday, according to most forecasts.
Expecting a whopper of a storm, local officials have held meetings over the past few days and expect them to continue into tomorrow. CPW has two-dozen of its own vehicles prepped and expects about 16 more from contractors who’ll help to keep the roads clear.
That could prove difficult – at its worst, the oncoming storm have winds whipping at 40 miles per hour or more as the snowfall quickens to a rate of 2- to 3-inces per hour.
“We’re prepared,” Rich Reine, the CPW director, said earlier this afternoon after a call with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). “This is what we train for, and this is what we’re good at.”
Good as they might be, Reine and the CPW team said their focus will be to keep the main arteries clear for emergency vehicles and that they’ll need a little bit of help and patience from residents.
As far as help, there are a few ways that Concord residents can do their part:
- Firstly, Friday’s curbside pickup will begin an hour earlier than usual – at 6 a.m. as opposed to 7 a.m. – in hopes of finishing it up before the storm hits. If collection crews have to pull out early, CPW asks that residents pull their items back inside.
- Secondly, on-street parking is another issue. Cars parked along the roadway during emergency situations can get plowed in, or prevent a street from being cleared. They can also get ticketed or towed. So try to avoid that.
- Thirdly, private snow contractors pushing snow into the public way is another issue – and a fineable offense.
- And, obviously, stay off the roads. Anyone who does not have to be on the road after about 3 p.m. tomorrow, when the snow is expected to start, should not be on the road. Sheltering in place should help to avoid traffic accidents and impediments to keeping the roads clear.