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Hingham officials say snow plowing fell short after Nemo

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  February 12, 2013 03:12 PM

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After receiving nearly two feet of snow from Friday evening to Saturday morning, Hingham officials say plowing efforts were subpar.

“Our main roads were pretty good, passable, but they weren’t as clean as some other towns,” said Selectman Bruce Rabuffo. "The side streets were in better shape than in Weymouth, but we want to do a full reassessment.”

Rabuffo said the roads were difficult to plow anyways, due to the heavy, wet snow that quickly turned to ice on the town’s roads, which was then covered by fluffy powder.

The struggled plowing efforts brought up concerns from homeowners, who expected better of Hingham’s streets.

“We did get some complaints from citizens. They expect, even though it’s the fourth-worst [storm] in our history, we should have been [better],” Rabuffo said. “People are working. It’s not a lack of effort, it’s just dealing with the conditions.”

Rabuffo also critiqued the late night decision to close schools Monday morning. Though the right move, the call possibly should have been made earlier, Rabuffo said.

School opened on a normal schedule on Tuesday.

Despite problems, Hingham fared well in other areas.

According to Rabuffo, the town had some town employees volunteer to come into work over the weekend to handle any issues.

Power outages were also not extensive or longlasting.

At the height of the storm, the town had 3,000 customers without power, and according to Hingham Municipal Light Plant General Manager Paul Heanue. By Sunday evening, only one customer was not back online.

That one exception was a woman whose home was in the woods, and her power was restored Monday morning.

The power company even righted two telephone poles that had fallen over due to the massive weight of fallen trees, and replaced another telephone pole that had snapped under similar pressure, all during the height of the storm.

"Sunday morning we finished up the smaller area outages and worked until Sunday evening taking care of individual outages,” Heanue said.

Though light plant officials said power restoration was no easy feat, Assistant Town Administrator Betty Foley commended the light plant on a job well done.

"The light plant did a great job keeping people in power," Foley said. "One of the things, they had people manning the phones, if you called and had a problem, you were talking to a person. The light crews were out from 4:30 in the morning till 8 at night and were out early [the next day]. They got just about everyone back a lot earlier than most towns did."

The Fire Department and DPW also did a great job, Foley said.

"All in all, we did well," she said.

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