Snow means day off for some, hard work for others - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Snow means day off for some, hard work for others

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

"We're going on a sled ride!" Gracie Vitagliano said.

Gracie enjoyed a snow day with her dad, along with kids from 570 area schools and day care operations that were closed or delayed Friday.

The kids didn't have all the fun; some grownups in Burlington, which received more than 8 inches of snow, took to the streets to go cross-country skiing.

But while a snowstorm of this size means fun for some it's hard work for others.

"Today is very difficult because the amount of snow we got in less time," said Rick Battles of the Rutland City Street Division.

Battles and 20 other city of Rutland employees in eight trucks worked overtime to get the roads plowed. Rutland received more than a foot of snow, with much of it falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour in the dead of night. For road crews, that means it takes more time to even get the snow to a level where they can salt. And they say they'll need about 250 tons of it for a job like this.

"If you have 4 or 5 inches of snow, it might only take you six or seven hours to plow it. But with this amount of snow, especially with how fast it came down, especially between 1:30 and 5:00," said Danny Maniery, manager of the Rutland City Street Division.

Yankee John says he would rather talk baseball, but instead he was shoveling a pathway from the street into this downtown Rutland restaurant so customers can get in.

"The snow is heavier, it's a lot wetter, the plows keep coming in and plowing once we get it shoveled, so then we have to come back out and shovel some more," he said.

Battles says the city is doing its best and plowing complaints can be tough to take.

"It does bother us, but you know, we get there when we can and if it's an emergency we will go right to where the complaints are," Battles said.

In addition to schools, some area businesses and organizations made the call to just not open at all to play it safe. At Rutland's Meals on Wheels delivery trucks were sitting idle. In this type of weather, even if the drivers can get to the homes on the roads, sometimes they can't get inside to deliver the food.

"The roads might be OK, but the driveways and sidewalks would be very icy and slippery today," said Douglas Jones of Rutland Meals on Wheels.

They say although the seniors who receive the 1,000 meals they deliver daily will be affected, they have already been provided with nonperishable food in blizzard bags for days like today.

Although a Valentine's Day snowstorm can mean tough calls and hard work, Gracie Vitagliano says a snow day is always good news for her.

"Happy!" she said.

Forecasters say this isn't the first time the region has enjoyed a snowy Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day 2007 the region received one of the top five snowstorms of all times, which forecasters say was one of the biggest they've seen.

Whatever your plans, city officials do advise to drive slowly and carefully Friday evening as they are still working to clear the roads.

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