With snow coming, north country gets ready to plow

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 7:18 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 7:19 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - With the first significant snow of the season expected Christmas Day, the north country is getting ready to plow.

This year, COVID-19 is making things more complicated.

In the Town of Denmark in Lewis County, the highway department is on COVID lockdown.

“I have 5 employees who can’t come into work until they test negative or the 14 days pass,” said Highway Superintendent Patrick Mahar.

The good news? The employees can still operate plows, with added precautions and disinfectant wipes.

“They will be able to drive, they just have to have a mask on and they have to have eye protection. And when they’re done plowing they have to go home and quarantine,” Mahar said.

At the city of Watertown’s Department of Public Works, the plows and workers were ready Wednesday.

“Our process starts in the spring of the year the snow is gone,” said Shawn Dick, Street & Sewer Supervisor.

“Then all this equipment goes through the shop throughout the spring, summer, and early part of fall. It has the necessary repairs made, upgrades, odds and ends that may have caused issues last year.”

As for the people who operate the plows: “The guys here that partake in the snow removal for the city have a huge passion for snow removal, number one. And number two, to clear the roads. A lot of guys thrive on, when schools open, they did their job,” Dick said.

A spokesman for the New York State Department of Transportation said, as always, if you need to travel over the Christmas holiday, take extra time, slow down, and be patient...

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