DPW Grabs a Rest as Another Storm Heads Toward Watertown

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Charlie Breitrose

A Watertown Department of Public Works snow plow.

A Watertown Department of Public Works snow plow.

Charlie Breitrose

A Watertown Department of Public Works snow plow.

The Watertown Department of Public Works got a brief rest this week between heavy snow storms, but they will have to go back into action this weekend. 

The National Weather Services has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Saturday at 3 p.m. to Sunday at 7 p.m. Forecasts call for Watertown to get a foot or more of snow, with winds gusting up to 50 mph, according to the NWS.

If there is any doubt this is an unusual winter, WCVB reported that Boston set a record for the snowiest February in recorded history.

Watertown Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee got his first night’s sleep on Monday night after being up for 54 hours, and some worked even longer hours.

“I haven’t seen anything like this,” Mee said. “The continuous storms and the path of the storms doesn’t appear to be letting up.”

The size of the storms has also been a challenge for the DPW.

“With the last storm, we started sanding Saturday afternoon and we did not bring it to a close until the wee hours of Monday,” Mee said.

His crews have been up the the challenge, Mee said.

“I’m extremely pleased with the DPW crews and the contractors,” Mee said. “Their effort has been incredible.”

Dealing with all the recent storms has all but exhausted the town’s snow and ice removal budget, so on Tuesday night the Town Council approved Town Manager Michael Driscoll’s request to exceed the budget of $1.165 million.

With the money spent already and the invoices coming in from recent storms, the town would be about $70,000 over budget, Driscoll said.

He noted that last year at the same meeting, the Town Council approved exceeding the snow removal budget. This fund is one of the few which communities are allowed but the state to exceed the amount approved in the annual budget.

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