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Winter Storms Cost Delaware More Than $13 Million — With More Snow On The Way

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Matt-Rivers-web-headshot Matt Rivers
Matt Rivers joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News team ...
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By Matt Rivers

WILMINGTON, Del., (CBS) — The latest snow storm will just make it tougher to keep it up with those axle-breaking potholes.

Winter is taking its toll on budgets and equipment.

It’s like playing the worst track on the record over and over again.  Yet another winter storm barrels towards us this weekend, and if the people of Delaware are tired of snow and salt and ice — so is their Governor.

“We’ll do what we have to do but I don’t think anybody is really looking forward to it,” Governor Jack Markell said.

And given the finances of a bad winter, you can’t blame him for encouraging spring to arrive quickly.  The state has bought 77,000 tons of salt so far and doled out over 82,000 hours of overtime pay to employees. That comes out to over $13 million spent in winter storm costs, nearly four times the amount originally budgeted.

“It’s particularly frustrating to see so much money spent on snow removal when we have so many other improvements to make in safety, congestion, economic development,” Governor Markell said.

But frustrated or not, all the work has to get done.  Part of that job falls to Bill Thatcher.

“Do one storm, stop, clean up, bring stuff back in, check them over, check oils, fluids, plow blades, checking the plows,” Bill Thatcher of DelDOT said.

Out in the garage you can see his fleet being geared up.  His other crews were out patching potholes, just like PennDOT crews did here along 422 in Montgomery County, Pa.  It’s about the only thing crews can do for now though, as we all hurry up and wait for the next big storm.

Delaware officials tell us they’re doing OK on their own salt stockpiles, thanks in large part to local salt suppliers working hard to make sure there’s enough salt to go around.

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