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Massachusetts Crews Work To Clear Slushy Roads During Messy Commute

FITCHBURG (CBS) - Rain, sleet, and snow came down in Fitchburg Monday. The wintry mix proved to be a problem for those trying to clear it.

"Once the glaze sets over it just makes it more heavy and more difficult to clear out," said Jamie Rogers, who was clearing the driveway and walkways for his tenants.

Fitchburg plow
A plow clears the road in Fitchburg (WBZ-TV)

One by one, more people came out of their homes geared up with all of the necessary tools in hand. All in an effort to clear the wintry mix before it got any worse.

"Because the rain just freezes over and even in the snow you can gauge what's going on. You hit a patch of black ice you lose control of the car," Rogers said.

That is exactly what was happening on the roads.

"I've slid a few times," one woman said.

"Terrible, my car literally slid sideways so I was kind of freaking out but I live up the street so I'm OK now," another driver explained.\

In Franklin, crews spent most of the day trying to right a home oil tanker that slid on the icy roads and landed on its side.

The biggest challenge for the Fitchburg Department of Public Works was the all-day mix that kept changing.

"It's coming down and it's icing up that's why we are putting down a lot of salt," DPW Commssioner Nicolas Bosonetto said.

WBZ-TV's Kristina Rex reports

"Going and plowing -- just keep going. People have been waving me down!" one plow driver said.

By the early afternoon, plow drivers had their work cut out for them.

"We get the main roads done first so they can get around so they can get up and down their own street the hills are the worst," Rich Richlin explained.

For those who have to be out on the roads, Richlin said, "Go slow!"

The Department of Public Works echoed that same message, asking all drivers to be extra careful until things warm up Tuesday morning.

By Monday night, numerous crashes, slides and near misses had been reported. Massachusetts State Police also set a speed restriction of 40 miles per hour on the Mass Pike from Exit 9 to the New York border.

A travel advisory extends into Tuesday morning during the storm.


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