Paul Steinhauser: NH snow removal bill: $100,000 per hour
CONCORD - Cleaning up a major snowstorm isn't cheap.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation tells NH1 News that they had some 700 trucks plowing snow off the state's highways and major roads Tuesday. So what does that kind of operation cost?
"We average about $100,000 in expenses per hour for a statewide storm," DOT public information officer Bill Boynton said Wednesday. "In terms of expenses that includes hire trucks, our fleet, fuel, materials, salt, all of those things associated with a storm like that nature."
Boynton estimated that the final bill for snow removal for Tuesday's storm will be "upwards of two to three million dollars."
We're not even half way through winter, but the DOT's already spent more than half of their winter budget.
"We estimate that we'll spend about $42 million for this winter on winter maintenance operations and we've already spent $21.5 million and that doesn't include this week. If we exceed that as we get into March and April, then we'll go back before a legislative committee and ask for a transfer from the highway fund," Boynton added.
Gov. Maggie Hassan told NH1 that she's keeping track of what was spent during the storm, to try to get some help from Washington.
"One of the reasons I declared an emergency was to let the federal government know how serious this storm was to the people of New Hampshire and the budget of New Hampshire. And so one of the things we're doing is keeping a very close track of the DOT expenditures, our local emergency directors are keeping track of their expenses," Hassan said. "There are a number of criteria in order to get any kind of federal assistance but we're certainly working to gather data to make so we do qualify for that assistance."