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Plow crews across the state prepare for storm

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    MANCHESTER, N.H. (WMUR) — Granite Staters were getting ready Wednesday for a storm that was expected to bring a foot or more of snow to parts of the state.

State transportation officials are urging people to stay home during the storm, which is expected to make for a difficult Thursday morning commute. Anyone who has to go out is being told to allow for plenty of extra time.

Officials with the Manchester Public Works Department said they expect to start calling in personnel around 3 a.m.

“We’re going to have anywhere between 40 and 50 pieces of equipment out there on the streets,” said Tim Clougherty, of Manchester Public Works. “We encourage people to minimize their travel to only what is necessary.”

The fluffy snow is expected to pose some challenges for drivers.

“It’s expected to be a dry, fluffy snow, but nonetheless, it’s blowing, and visibility will be so poor that it really is safer to be at home,” said Eileen Meaney, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

The expected intensity of the snow bands means drivers can expect to deal with snow-covered roads.

“Anyone who has the opportunity to tele-work tomorrow or otherwise stay home that they do so, based on they’re reporting potentially more than an inch an hour during that commuter time,” Meaney said.

In Nashua, preparations began Tuesday, streets around the city were striped with a brine solution.

“Brine is basically salt and water and it adheres great to the roads,” said Lauren Byers with Nashua Department of Public Works. “So, we put it down well in advance of the storm and it will keep the snow from adhering to the surface, it’s awesome.”

In Keene, officials are expecting about 8 to 10 inches of snow. While crews in Manchester and at the state level aren’t not pretreating roads, Keene is using a special salt they refer to as “magic.”

“It’s treated with a derivative of the brewing process, and the salt is actually coated with this and allows the salt to work at lower temperatures,” said Duncan Watson, of Keene Public Works.

Officials are expecting to catch a break in the storm compared to years past.

“Much fewer people are commuting these days due to the pandemic and also the schools being remote right now,” Watson said.

DOT, Manchester and Keene officials said COVID-19 has not had an impact on their plow crews, and they’re hoping that continues to be the case.

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