The town of Colchester has been significantly impacted by Winter Storm Gemini, which has resulted in considerable ice accumulations over the past forty-eight hours. The storm’s duration and its associated ice accumulations and sub-freezing temperatures have placed a significant drain on the Public Works Department’s Highway Division’s available resources. While the Public Works Department is not staffed to run continuously, it has been working around the clock since Saturday afternoon with smaller crews rotating on split shifts.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation has begun a damage assessment to determine if Vermont may qualify for federal assistance under a federal damage declaration.
The primary emphasis this weekend has been on the arterial roadways within the town, which carry the majority of the traffic and are essential to emergency services. At this time, the arterial roadways are in good condition with some areas of hard-packed ice. Crews are attempting to remove hard-packed ice today while temperatures are still marginal.
The secondary roads are in poor condition with several inches of hard-packed ice even after several plowings and deicing over the weekend. Crews are focusing on these roadways today but will be unable to remove all of the packed ice prior to temperatures dropping significantly overnight. With several days of cold temperatures expected, further deicing will be ineffective, thereby requiring the application of sand. Residents should expect these conditions on the secondary roadways for several days.
Gravel roads currently have a rough surface but have been sanded and are in good condition.
The sidewalks are in extremely poor condition with two to three inches of hard-packed snow and ice. Crews are attempting to clear the sidewalks with very limited success. Emphasis is being placed in areas of higher pedestrian volumes. Residents should expect very poor conditions on sidewalks for several weeks until temperatures rise sufficiently to soften the ice so that it can be removed.
Winter Safety Reminders
Please be safe this winter and use caution when traveling the roadways. Never approach downed power lines! If you are using a generator, make sure that it is located outside of the home. During times of cold weather and power outages, it is always a good idea to check on your neighbors to make sure that they are safe.
Stay safe and warm out there!
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