Published in the February 16, 2017 edition

By Bill Laforme

NORTH READING – Last weekend’s winter weather passed through town with few significant safety issues, with a handful of icy roads and trees down accounting for most calls from residents.
Among the public safety calls received over the weekend, a car reportedly slid into a snow bank on Orchard Drive on Friday night and was freed with no damage. Several hours later, a plow truck struck a fire alarm box near Fordham Road and late Saturday morning a town-owned vehicle was in an accident with a contractor’s truck.
On Sunday afternoon, a vehicle struck a pole on Marshall Street with no injury or major damage reported. Trees were reported down on Park Street and Southwick Road later Sunday evening, and at least one power outage was reported on parts of Park Street and elsewhere overnight, with many low hanging wires and downed trees and limbs awaiting responders Monday morning.
Later Monday morning, emergency personnel were informed that a tree fell on a vehicle just over the Wilmington line, and soon after, a Central Street resident in North Reading reported having cars damaged by a falling tree.
According to DPW Director Andrew Lafferty, about 20 inches of snow fell in total on North Reading in the three weather events starting Thursday night. He added that DPW workers had been able to manage their storm responses rather seamlessly, in good part because of the timing of the weather events. “It was a long, drawn out event, to say the least,” said Lafferty, who also said he is still calculating the total cost of the latest weather response.
On Monday, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto told the Transcript that leading up to this weekend’s storm, the town had sent out equipment 21 times for snow and ice removal as of Feb. 2, with 19.5 inches of measurable snow recorded at that point. Before the first flake fell over the weekend, the town had already spent about $205,639 on snow and ice removal as of Feb. 1, added Gilleberto, including about 1,000 tons of road salt at a cost of just under $60,000.