Courtesy of Chris Brown: Snowblowing in Hudson.

Jan 27, 2015 7:37 AM

Fluffy snow makes plowing easier; unprecedented no toll on turnpikes

CONCORD - Residents are heeding the state warnings to avoid the roads and that's helping the blizzard fighting effort according to the spokesman for the Department of Transportation.

The Blizzard of 2015 also produced what may be an unprecedented event - no charge to pass through the turnpike tolls either through E-ZPass or the lanes with booths.

"The governor has authorized this for the safety of our employees,'' Bill Boynton said. "This is a very rare occurrence. Nobody can ever remember it happening."

On Monday, Hassan announced that she was shutting down state government except for essential employees needed to fight the blizzard.

The toll workers were not considered essential, Hassan said.

Likewise, all state liquor stores are closed today, an unusual move that could cost the state at least $300,000 in lost revenue.

Reports were central liquor store locations had larger-than-usual crowds just before closing time Monday night.

Gov. Maggie Hassan had warned Monday that residents who travel could end up being stranded in bone-chilling temperatures.

"There is virtually no traffic. The plows have the luxury of having the roads to themselves and they are taking full advantage of that,'' Boynton told NH1 News during its live coverage of the storm that began at 8 a.m. today.

The fluffy snow also makes plowing easier and the effort for state officials less dangerous than when the snow is wet and ice is omnipresent on state highways, Boynton added.

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