Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


February 14, 2013

Two feet of snow, five days of removal

Five days after a blizzard slammed the region last weekend, dropping two feet of snow in town, Andover was still digging out from the mid-winter blast.

Lifting tons of the white stuff with an excavator and dropping it into a heavy duty dump truck behind Memorial Hall Library on Tuesday afternoon, was private contractor Dave Doucette.

“We love it,” said Doucette, foreman with F.P. Reilly and Sons of Andover. “We have two shifts running around the clock.”

People walking around downtown early Tuesday morning — 2 a.m. early — would have seen other construction vehicles piling snow all over Andover’s main roads and hauling it to two designated dumping areas at Rec Park and on High Street. The work cleared the way for downtown shoppers to park along Main Street, a challenging feat in the days following the storm.

While the storm hit quick, finding a place to put the snow wasn’t an issue even though the snowfall was “up there with 2011,” according to Doucette.

“If we come to have another storm of good size, it would get a bit cramped,” he cautioned.

Schools throughout the region were closed Monday, though Special Town Meeting went off without a hitch Monday night. Early into the meeting, one resident pressed for town leadership to postpone the meeting because of road conditions, but the meeting went forward. Students returned to school Tuesday.

It wouldn’t be until Wednesday, however, when sidewalks throughout town were clear, according to acting DPW Director Chris Cronin.

Others felt the weight of the storm differently. With rain on Monday and warm temperatures Tuesday, downtown shop owner Lisa Nardone looked up at her ceiling in Chic Consignment, where water dripped down onto her sales floor in several spots.

“It started happening around 7 a.m.,” she said as the drops collected in 10 plastic containers scattered around the consignment store.

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