Residents In Bucks County Dig Out & Try To Stay Safe In The Bitter Cold
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By Matt Rivers
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)– The roads in Bucks County are doing okay Wednesday evening.
Main roads like 611 have been moving along fine, and even thought side streets are still snowy, they are certainly manageable.
That’s all thanks to hard-working road crews, but with each passing storm, their budgets get smaller and smaller.
Cleaning off your car isn’t fun and doing it in 10 degree weather is less fun.
But, at least the snow isn’t heavy.
Pat Ragan had to dig out his car after the storm.
“It’s cold, but it’s light, it’s fluffy, you know we’ve got four people cranking it out.”
But as regular folk like Pat and family dig out their cars, people like Howard Phelps dig out roads.
He’s seen a lot of winters, and says this one is pretty bad.
“This has been a really hard winter, lots of storms coming in, ice and snow, on weekends, in the middle of the night.”
So out he goes, spending hours salting and spreading and plowing and all of that really adds up.
Take municipalities like Middletown for example, they’ve already used, “One thousand, seven hundred tons “of salt, with another 600 tons on backorder.
But there’s only so much money to go around, budgeted for a winter not supposed to be this bad.
He hasn’t run out of funds yet but says, “I have to watch the budget, absolutely, but we have to remove the snow. I have no choice.”
Those fiscal realities impact the state too, because what money gets spent now can’t be spent later.
Bucks County Maintenance Manager Cal Morrison says, “If we do go beyond our budget that means it’s going to take money from projects that we have scheduled in the spring, so you may not see as many roads getting paved or different maintenance jobs going on.”
So as you might imagine, he’s hoping this storm will be the last big one of the year.
As far as tonight goes, it’s going to get bitterly cold. But officials say these roads have been treated enough that icing shouldn’t be too much of an issue.