GRAFTON, Mass. -- It took about 24 hours for the blizzard to do its damage on Friday , but will take a week to clean it up.
Snow plows have been visible around town since Friday afternoon, and ever since workers have been plowing, sanding, blowing and repairing broken equipment with little sleep.
“This is our payback for the past two years,” said David Crouse, manager of Grafton’s Department of Public Works, reflecting on the dry winters of 2011 and 2012.
Crouse said clearing sidewalks, school parking lots, cleaning up intersections, and widening roads will take the bulk of the week despite fifteen pieces of snow equipment and 150 tons of road sand already dropped on the roads.
He said the first shift for his crew began Friday at 1 p.m. and continued to 9 p.m. Saturday. By 3 a.m. Saturday, he said, it was a white out, bringing the work to temporary halt. When that cleared, they worked from Sunday morning to 8 p.m.
Although Crouse said he didn't have the exact number, he was sure the town’s clean-up bill wiped out the budget for the season.
The blizzard also meant plenty of snow days for the public schools. Grafton, like many of the surrounding towns, cancelled classes Monday for the second day because of narrow roads, unplowed sidewalks, and freezing rain in the morning.
Superintendent of Grafton Public Schools, James Cummings, said in a newsletter to parents, that classes will be held on Tuesday thanks to the hard work of the public works department and the school department’s custodial and maintenance crews.
But he also warned parents and students the rest of the week will be a challenge. “Buses are sure to be running later than usual with the narrower streets and need for extra caution on the part of all drivers,” he said in the newsletter. “While our parking lots are cleared, we will have fewer open parking spaces than usual, which will certainly present additional challenges.”