By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
As the budget gap for snow and ice removal widens, Winthrop Public Works officials were preparing yesterday (Wednesday) to fight what would be the third largest snowfall of the early 2011 winter season.
“What we’re hearing from our specialized local forecasts is different from what the TV newscasters are predicting for the larger region,” said Public Works Director Dave Hickey. “What we’re hearing right now is that Winthrop may only get about 4 to 6 inches of snow from Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning, which would be a great Help to us, but that snow could be the wet heavy kind of snow.”
According to Hickey, the weather service that provides Winthrop officials with town specific forecasts was predicting at press time, that the snow would begin to fall in Winthrop during the later part of the Wednesday evening commute around 6 or 7 p.m. The snow would then give way to rain during portions of the overnight and then switch back to snow in the early morning commuting hours.
The snow to rain to snow forecast may be the reason that the service is also calling for two to four inches less snow than is being predicted in other parts of the greater Boston area.
“Right now, if the forecasts holds true, our biggest challenges are going to be finding someplace to put the snow and managing the snow removal during the morning commute (Thursday, January 27),” said Hickey.
During each of the previous storms the town has lost an average of three to four inches of parking space along side streets, as the snowfall, coupled with moving snow from sidewalks and driveways continuously encroaches on the streets themselves.
“Each storm we do the best we can to clear the streets and then lift the parking ban, then residents head out to clear their sidewalks and every time we do that we lose three to four inches along the sides of streets for parking,” said Hickey. “We’re getting to the point where parking on some smaller side streets is going to be very difficult, if we keep getting new storms.”
Hickey said that no decision has been made as yet, but town officials have talked about the potential need to limit some parking on side streets, to ensure safe passage of vehicles and emergency responders, if the current trend continues.
“We aren’t there yet, but residents should be aware that this may become a necessity at some point, because of all of the snow we’ve been getting,” he said.