Patience thins as Andover hit by latest storm

Marc Fournier, Andover’s new deputy director of municipal services and highway superintendent, normally loves snow. But this year might be an exception.

As Mother Nature battered the region with another winter storm Monday, dropping more than a foot of additional snow onto already towering mounds, With more snow in the forecast over the next several days, Fournier acknowledged the patience of residents is wearing thin and their frustration with snow removal efforts has elevated.

“It’s easy to second guess us,” Fournier wrote in a letter to the community as more snow fell on Monday. “We’re not perfect. But it’s a complex task which we feel we handle with the utmost professionalism.”

Fournier asked for the public’s assistance, saying his crews would appreciate if residents could pitch in to remove snow from sidewalks and fire hydrants. 

“It is a trying time and we are doing all we can to ensure your safety,” he wrote. “Many of our staff work nights and extended shifts in harsh conditions, and don’t see their families for long periods of time. It’s a significant responsibility that we take seriously.”

On Monday afternoon, a concern over a diminishing road salt supply was growing almost as quickly as snow totals. Fournier said his department had enough of a supply for the time being, and was hopeful for the near future.

“I hope we have enough,” he said. “It depends on what the weather does. When you get this much bad weather, everyone wants salt and needs salt. There’s a huge demand, but a shortage of delivery equipment from the suppliers to get it out to customers.”

As of Monday, Andover had 750 tons of salt, Fournier said, and another 1,000 tons of salt on order.

As school in Andover was called off for the second straight day on Tuesday, Fournier said one of his department’s main priorities is the parking lots, side streets and sidewalks surrounding the town’s schools. 

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