winter weather

Sara Plourde, NHPR

This winter's series of heavy snowfalls put a $9.2 million hurt on the state's annual snow removal budget and led to a raid on the fund that pays for road and bridge repair and maintenance.

Figures compiled by the Department of Transportation show the state spent $48.3 million to clear roads this season. It had budgeted $39.1 million and needed a transfer from the State Highway Fund to cover the shortfall.

DOT spokesperson Bill Boynton says not only was there simply more snow this winter, the storms were longer.

The city of Portsmouth has been hauling snow from town and dumping it on Peirce Island, just across from the Naval Shipyard. But now, Public Works Director Peter Rice says the island is filling up. 

 Everything but the road is covered in mountains of snow on Peirce Island.    At the very end of the road, a snow pile towers two or three stories high.  If you peer over the hill to the park below – you see the pile doubles in size.

“This is unprecedented. We’ve never seen this before, like this. This has been amazing,” Lister revels.

NHPR Staff

  After working triple and quadruple shifts plowing the roads in Portsmouth, public workers in Portsmouth climb into garbage trucks for regular trash removal.

Public Works Director Peter Rice says storms and snow make even trash pickup a trying endeavor. "People are trying to pass them on these narrow roads while they’re trying to pick up trash,” Rice says. “You know these guysare exhausted, they are stretched thin.”

The Portsmouth Herald’s newspaper delivery crew is also struggling.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

As the third major snowstorm in two weeks moves out of New England, exhaustion is setting in for plow drivers.

Some private and public plow drivers say they are putting in as many as 40 hours without a night’s rest here in Southern New Hampshire.

The Director of Public Works in Portsmouth says back to back storms like this happen so rarely, the city doesn’t have written policy limiting shifts for plow drivers.

NHPR Staff

The state’s Department of Transportation warned about slippery conditions on roadways from Manchester to Plymouth Sunday as freezing rain hit cold pavement. “Incidents are happening all over the place,” said Bill Boynton with NHDOT.  

By afternoon, a pileup on I-93 blocked traffic in both directions near I-89.

Boynton's recommendation? Watch football.

"As soon as you start using salt, the rain dissolves it," he said. That made pre-treatment impossible Sunday morning, as freezing rain moved in across the state.  

Chris Jensen for NHPR

By early evening the snow was heavy in the North Country, keeping road crews working most of the night.

About 7 p.m. a trained weather spotter reported snow falling at the rate of two to three inches per hour near Orford, said Chris Legro a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Legro said morning snow totals have yet to be reported but the highest last night was 10.9 inches in Randolph.

But there shouldn’t be any significant snowfall today.

Michael Brindley / NHPR

Tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents woke up without power on Thanksgiving morning. With conditions even worse than predicted, it took several days for some areas to regain power. We're looking at the response to the storm and the condition of our electric grid, and taking your comments about how New Hampshire and it's utilities could better deal with severe weather and power outages. 


Sam Evans-Brown, NHPR's Environment Reporter

Perry Plummer - Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Polar Vortex Pushes Back Start Of Springtime Temps

Mar 16, 2014
Snowflake Macro: Dark Star
Alexey Kjatov / Flickr Creative Commons

After a brief glimpse of springtime weather, the Granite State will once again feel the chill.

It was about two weeks ago that Stephen Dignazio, the executive director of the non-profit Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, put the message on the marquee.

It said “Spring Is On The Way.”

It was a warm, fuzzy thought, but premature.

“I guess we made a misstep there,” said Dignazio.

With the snow getting heavier throughout the day Wednesday, cars churned up and down Main Street past the theater and that overly optimistic marquee

And Dignazio was not trying to escape the blame for the wintry assault.