Petersburg continues to dig out from a heavy New Year’s weekend snowfall.
The area saw around two feet of heavy, wet snow Friday, Saturday and Sunday, adding to the piles from an already snowy December. The National Weather Service says more snow is forecast this week before temperatures are forecast to warm up and bring rain next week. That could mean additional weight on already loaded roofs and boats, along with the potential for flooding.
The school district canceled the reopening of schools Tuesday due to the heavy load on school roofs and postponed a board work session until Thursday. Volunteers were helping to clear the snowpack from schools and classes were canceled again Wednesday.
Meanwhile, residents and businesses worked to clear snow this week and public works crews continued with the clean up.
Borough manager Steve Giesbrecht told the assembly Monday they’re trying to catch up.
“In a snowfall like this we are basically perpetually behind,” Giesbrecht said of the borough’s snow removal efforts. “If you were here a little bit earlier you would have caught me basically trying to get some police officers as an example to volunteer to work some extra hours, we would pay overtime, to help us shovel off the roofs on this building. We’ve got borough buildings that are getting some significant snow loads.”
Giesbrecht said the borough likely has already spent what it budgeted for overtime pay and fuel for snow removal. He said the borough is also getting low on sand for streets and is seeking more.
With additional work needed he’s told department heads to also look for help from the private sector.
“We are talking to local contractors to see what their availability is to help out with some of the excess,” said public works director Chris Cotta in his update to the assembly. “Some contractors shut down in the winter as you know but we’re reaching out and just seeing if anyone’s available. It is at this point gotten ahead of us a little bit. If we get a breather this week then we could probably get caught up some but we don’t know if we’re going to get three more months of this or the worst of it’s over. So we’re just trying to get things lined up in case we do have a much more severe winter that goes all the way through April.”
The borough manager said the local government was not yet at the level of requesting an emergency declaration for impacts from the winter conditions.