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Nor’easter drops almost 7 inches on Winchester

Police keep residents out of the way on Lockeland Road at Manomet Road, where power lines held up trees as electric crews worked to resolve the issue. COURTESY PHOTO/JOANNA EASTMAN

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The first snowstorm of the season has come and gone, as the nor’easter that blew in overnight from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7 dropped up to a foot or more of snow in some areas across the Bay State.

In Winchester, Department of Public Works Director Robert LaBossiere estimated the town received about 6 1/2 inches.

“It was a tough one,” he said. “It was tough because a lot came down early and melted and then compressed. It was a heavy, wet snow.”

A Winchester firefighter out in the snow during the Jan. 7 nor’easter that brought nearly 7 inches of snow to the community. COURTESY PHOTO/JOANNA EASTMAN

LaBossiere added the first snowfall of winter is usually tough, mostly because the snow removal equipment has been sitting unused. But he credited the DPW’s mechanics for keeping up with repairs.

“We have tremendous mechanics,” he said. “They got our equipment out on the road. They’re an asset to the town.”

Despite having plows on the road, LaBossiere said the town was short of labor, both in the DPW department itself and with contractors. He said since Covid, there are not a lot of contractors looking for work.

“It’s expensive to keep their equipment up,” he said. “Plus, the last two years, we haven’t had a lot of snow.”

He added it would be great for the town to have more equipment for snow removal.

Roads were closed in two areas of Winchester, according to the DPW, at Johnson Road and Lockeland Road at High Street. COURTESY PHOTO/JOANNA EASTMAN

About 400 tons of salt and sand were used in the storm, more than the DPW chief estimated would be used in a storm of this magnitude. But, he said, the storm was very wet and had a high water content and things got worse after 4 p.m. when the temperatures dropped.

LaBossiere said there were two problem areas DPW crews encountered during the Saturday to Sunday storm: Johnson Road and Lockeland Road at High Street.

“We had large trees come down on the power lines,” he said. “That caused the roads to be closed down.”

No one in the area lost power, but LaBossiere said it took awhile to have the trees safely removed from the power lines and that meant no plowing got done in those areas so snow accumulated.

Overall, LaBossiere said the parking ban helped keep cars off the street and residents were respectful.

“This is my first winter here,” he said. “I would say it wasn’t too bad.”

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