Department of Public Works assistant superintendent Jamie Magaldi can’t predict exactly how much snow will be dumped on Wilmington this weekend. There’s one prediction he’s sticking to though – no matter what the blizzard brings, he and his crews will be ready for it.
“The fact is that we really don’t know what we are going to get until we get it,” said Magaldi on Thursday afternoon. “All we can do is get the equipment ready so we can get right to work with no issues.”
Preparations included sharpening and changing plow blades and preparing saws in case the storm comes with strong winds, which forecasters believe is a possibility.
Though winds could reach as high as 45 MPH at the peak of the storm, Magaldi said he doesn’t expect much tree damage because the snow will be light and there not many leaves on the trees.
That doesn’t mean the storm won’t present challenges. Even though there is not much as far as snow banks currently in town, a large storm like this is difficult for DPW workers to plow. Magaldi said that despite the currently empty streets, finding somewhere to put more than a foot of snow is a challenge.
“Anything over 12 inches is very difficult to plow, and we may get over two feet,” said Magaldi. “We’re going to have our hands full, so it does help to have a clean slate with no snow on the ground.”
Because of the difficult job ahead of town workers, Town Manager Jeff Hull urged residents to stay home if possible on Friday and into Saturday.
“It would be a tremendous help if people could stay off the road so emergency vehicles and snow removal crews can do their jobs,” said Hull.
Wilmington hasn’t been hit with a major storm in about two years, but Magaldi said he and his team are ready for it.
“We haven’t had an event like this in quite some time, so we’ve been lucky and have dodged the bullet,” said Magaldi. “But we live in New England, so it’s inevitable we were going to have to deal with a storm like this. It’s going to take us a few days to get things to a manageable level. Storm cleanup is going to continue a few days after the snow stops, but we’ll be working hard to get things back to normal as soon as possible.”