Town Manager Richard Montuori said Tewksbury has weathered the Blizzard of '13 fairly well but he is asking the public to be patient when it comes to the clearing of the town roads.
As estimated 27 inches of snow buried the town over a span of around 26 hours. But despite the heavy snowfall and winds that topped 35 MPH, Tewksbury avoided the widespread power outages that impacted more than 160,000 National Grid customers, mostly to the east and southeast.
"Overall things have gone well considering the magnitude of the storm," said Montuori. "We have been told by National Grid that there are 150 customers without power in the Merrimack Valley and one in Tewksbury. According to National Grid's liaison, power should be restored by this evening."
The plowing of the streets has gone a bit more slowly. Montuori said plowing efforts will likely continue into Sunday before all the streets are cleared. The primary difficulty is the sheer volume of snow.
"DPW continues to plow but they are having difficulty pushing the snow," he said. "We need our larger trucks to push the snow and widen the roads but we do not have enough to address all streets and neighborhoods immediately, our priorities are the main roads."
Montuori also said two of the plows in service overnight had to be taken out of service due to mechanical problems and a couple of others got stuck in the snow and had to be pulled out by the DPW.
"We are asking residents to be patient if their road is not plowed to its full width," said Montuori.
Residents are being asked to aid in the plowing effort by not making the job of the plows more difficult. Those who are plowing or shoveling their own driveways and walkways are being asked not to throw the snow out into the street.
According to Montuori, plowing will continue throughout the day but won't be completed until some time on Sunday.
We will need to send employees home later this afternoon to get rest and we will have them back tomorrow morning to continue plowing streets and to begin cleaning up parking lots and schools," he said. Again residents need to be patient with us and understand that even when the snow stops it will be a couple of days before we are cleaned up."
From a public safety standpoint, it has been an uneventful storm. Tewksbury firefighters assisted with a major fire in Wilmington Friday afternoon. But aside from a few medical calls and a couple of minor motor vehicle accidents, things have been rather quiet.
Those residents with fire hydrants near their homes are being asked to shovel out those hydrants for the Fire Department, a gesture that will save firefighters valuable time in case of a fire.