Region's Latest Storm Took A Toll On Exhausted Plow Drivers

Feb 10, 2015

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

As the third major snowstorm in two weeks moves out of New England, exhaustion is setting in for plow drivers.

Some private and public plow drivers say they are putting in as many as 40 hours without a night’s rest here in Southern New Hampshire.

The Director of Public Works in Portsmouth says back to back storms like this happen so rarely, the city doesn’t have written policy limiting shifts for plow drivers.

Portsmouth city worker Jason Gordon says he takes a nap between each 8 hour shift. To stay awake, he advises “keep the window down, you know, hang your head out the window, try to stay with it as much as possible.”

Gordon makes time and a half working overtime -- he says he’ll spend the extra cash doing something fun with his son. 

On Richards Street, Melanie Sampson piles snow into her yard. “There’s really no place to put it,” she says.   

Public Works director Peter Rice says the city is sending empty dump trucks into neighborhoods to clear out snow before the next storm later this week.

“We are at that point already, people don’t have places to put snow. We’ll do load-outs in the neighborhoods, we’ll transfer material into dump trucks and take it out to pierce island snow dump.”

City Manager John Bohenko reports Portsmouth has almost exhausted this season’s $260,000 snow removal budget.