Some short staffed, crews prep for weekend nor'easter


    Amid what DOT officials say is short staffing, drivers will be working 12-hour shifts. (WGME)

    SCARBOROUGH (WGME) – Maine plow crews could be getting a workout this weekend.

    The Maine Department of Transportation in Region One (Southern Maine) is preparing to place multiple crews out on the highways.

    DOT officials say 60 trucks will be canvassing the highways; some will be dedicated to a 37-mile stretch of I-295.

    Amid what officials say is short staffing, drivers will be working 12-hour shifts.

    DOT officials are advising motorists to stay home this weekend, but if you have to be on the roads, expect to see constant plowing, but without the salt.

    "When it's really cold, like our saying, salt doesn't really do us a lot of good,” Region One Superintendent Tim Cusick said. “We're not trying to melt right down or keep the road bare. Trying to keep the roads passable for traffic. Do you know if they do become slick we do salt to keep it so that people can drive, but when it's snowing a couple inches an hour salt isn't really doing it any good, so we keep it scraped down and keep traffic flow, and that's what we look to do."

    Local municipalities are also planning--but on multiple challenges.

    “It’s always a challenge for us with the coastal dynamic of Camp Ellis and the erosion we suffer down there," said Saco director of public works, Patrick Fox, "typically we’re either plowing snow or dealing with a hurricane or large surf event."

    But this weekend may present both elemental challenges--and more.

    "(We're in) initial planning phases for small and minor power outages that might occur," said Saco Fire Chief and EMA director John Duross, "What we establish, if necessary, would be a warming station at our transportation center.”

    Central Maine Power officials tell CBS13 they had not finalized plans to deal with potential power outages, but would announce plans Friday once they reviewed final weather models.

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