Metro

Wilmington hits snow jackpot for nor’easter

Wilmington hit the jackpot with 31 inches of snow, according to the weather service.
CJ GUNTHER/EPA/Shutterstock
Wilmington hit the jackpot with 31 inches of snow, according to the weather service.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday that the town of Sharon received 24 inches of snow, the city of Methuen collected 28.3 inches of the white stuff, and the city of Springfield scored a basketball field goal with just 2 inches of snow.

But not one of the state’s 350 other cities and towns matched Wilmington, the community with the most snow during Tuesday’s nor’easter that generated blizzard conditions in several municipalities, including Boston.

Wilmington hit the jackpot with 31 inches of snow, according to the weather service.

Advertisement

“That’s an honor I’d really rather not have,’’ said Michael J. Woods, director of the town’s Department of Public Works, whose crews have been out since 4 a.m. Tuesday. “We had a nice February and everybody got sort of used to that. March has certainly come in like a lion, as they say.”

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Woods said his 32-person crew and the 52 private contractors hired by the town have faced off against trees caked with high-moisture snow, powerful gusting winds, downed power lines, and downed trees and branches almost nonstop since March 2, when the first of three storms hit.

On Thursday, his crew was confronting new challenges: moving 31 inches of snow off 26 miles of sidewalks and school parking lots in one sweep in contrast to street clearing, in which plows run continually once 3 inches of snow accumulate.

The most important task?

“Keep everybody awake and safe,’’ he said.

Advertisement

The town set aside $1 million for winter storm clearance last year.

Town Manager Jeffrey M. Hull estimates that the March storms will cost the town somewhere around $200,000, an amount he hopes to cover when town officials scour accounts for unused money that can be applied to the snow account.

While stressing that it’s nearly a week into the future, forecasters say there might be another coastal storm Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

“Yeah, we heard about that. We are of the mind-set that we don’t need any more” snow, Hull said.

“But we will deal with it [when it] comes. You’ve got to deal with the circumstances you are given.”

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.