Downeast Maine slammed by snowstorms | News

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Downeast Maine slammed by snowstorms
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MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been a busy week and a half for Public Works crews across the state of Maine, but nowhere has received more snow and had the fewest number of people to remove it than in Machias.

Since Jan. 24, the town has gotten more than 62 inches of snow, shattering the old 10-day record of 35-and-a-half inches, which was set in 1964. Public Works employees have been working around the clock trying to clear and widen the roads for drivers.

"In a normal situation, we get the storm, we plow the snow and then we get a chance to rest, but when we get these back-to-back-to-back storms, we get one day to try to rest and then we're back to snow removal again," said Director Michael Schoppee.

Machias has used up about 80 percent of its sand pile for the roads, where as normally at this time, they should have used up only 60 percent. The town only has four Public Works employees, three of which are full-time, and they plowed for 100 hours in the last eight days. Schoppee said they hired other snow plowing companies to help widen the streets.

"They're working steady, but everyone's starting to get tired. They've had no chance to clean up from one storm to the other. If we get a big storm and it drifts again, I'm not sure if people can move it," said Washington County Emergency Management director, Mike Hinerman.

Some of the two-way streets in Machias are only wide enough for one car to squeeze through because it's difficult finding a place to put all the snow. And after all these snowstorms, Schoppee had one thing to say about the snow.

"I just hope it all stops because we are tired and I don't know how much longer we can keep going," he said.

More snow is forecasted for Friday and Monday.


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