Before Bangor’s 42 plow truck drivers could mount an attack on the first large snowfall of the season, they had to contend with another element.
The city has spent the past couple of weeks vacuuming up the fallen leaves that residents have raked to the edge of their properties, but that work took new urgency ahead of Friday’s storm.
“Today, we’re trying to get up as many leaves as possible,” Eric Willett, the city’s new director of public works, said during an interview on Thursday. “When they get hit with a plow, they end up in people’s lawns.”
Those weren’t the only preparations the city’s plow drivers made on the storm’s eve. They also scanned the roads for potholes, manhole covers and other features that might obstruct their work.
“We don’t want to damage the plows or any infrastructure,” said Willett, who used to serve as the city’s fleet maintenance manager and has replaced retiring public works director Dana Wardwell.
To ensure they’d be ready to go early Friday morning, the workers also topped off their fuel, inspected their plow blades, made sure sanders and other gear were loaded and completed last-minute inspections.
While there can be more traffic accidents during the first heavy snowfalls of the season, Willett didn’t think this storm would present too much difficulty.
“It’s just a typical Maine storm,” he said. “Four to eight inches isn’t anything for us.”