Snowplow crews digging out Down East towns

Posted Feb. 23, 2009, at 7:56 p.m.

LUBEC, Maine — A trailer fire in Lubec and a Calais official’s ride-along on a municipal plow set the tone Monday morning as the Down East began digging out from another winter storm.

Between 12 and 20 inches of snow fell in spots between Eastport and Princeton, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm closed some town offices, including those in Baileyville and Cutler.

On the job Monday morning, Lubec Town Administrator Maureen Glidden said her work crews were plowing roads as fast as they could.

Because of the high mounds of snow at intersections, she said, the town had to hire a front-end loader to remove snow.

Around 9 a.m., she said, there was a fire at a house trailer on North Lubec Road. Town firefighters responded. The trailer was destroyed, but no one was injured.

“It’s been a long, hard winter,” Glidden said.

In Calais, City Manager Diane Barnes got a sense of the storm up close while riding with one of her plow drivers.

“I learned that we have a lot of snow and that the streets are very narrow,” she said. “I tell you, their job is intense to keep the roads cleaned. They have to deal with vehicles parked on the side of the road and pedestrians walking. They do a heck of a job getting things cleaned up, they really, really do.”

In Machias, Town Manager Betsy Fitzgerald said her public work crews were out all night, and they would be out again Monday night to do additional cleanup.

In Eastport, City Manager George “Bud” Finch said his public works crew had struggled throughout the night Sunday trying to keep main and secondary roads open in heavy and drifting snows.

“This is the third snowstorm this season where the crew had to go to the plowing plan that rates roads as first tier [main roads], second tier [connector roads] and third tier [lanes and dead-end streets],” he said. “Much of the issue with this storm has been about where to put the foot-plus of snow since the storm on Thursday had not yet been fully plowed back.”

By noon Monday, the Eastport crew had all roads open.

While storms continue to pound the area with another one predicted for later in the week, Barnes urged Calais residents to be patient with the snowplow crews.

“They really, really do an excellent job,” she said.

bdncalais@myfairpoint.net

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