Weather woes: Pothole problems, fuel shortages - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Weather woes: Pothole problems, fuel shortages

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'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- the lingering cold spell has made it all harder to take.

"Warming up and getting cold, warming up and getting cold-- that's the worst thing we're dealing with," said Dan Champney of VTrans.

Potholes are a huge problem in any kind of weather, but especially in winter. VTrans says they work hard to try to cover them up, but once the snow plows are out on the roadways, that work is lost.

"Unfortunately with packs, the next day you get a storm, you plow them back out... it's a battle," Champney said.

VTrans has been working on filling the potholes with this temporary fix, but says the more permanent solutions won't be available until spring. And the roller-coaster rides can get pricey for those who rely on a car to get to and from work; the rough ride can really do damage to your vehicle.

And some are in the hole when it comes to paying for heat. The cost of staying warm is getting old and costly, and some who rely on wood pellets are on edge. A nationwide pellet short has affected people trying to heat their homes.

"I would say there's an overconsumption is what I would say. Nobody could predict this winter would be as cold as it is. The pellet mills could not plan for this much usage," Chad Merrill said.

Merrill knows the business of wood pellets; he and his father and brother own the Stove Depot, which has four locations all across Vermont. He says this winter supplies are bare.

"This would be filled, double-stacked just like these all the way across. And out back is full of pellets, too. We rent the building out back, all the grounds. There's some stacked behind the buildings, too. That would be full of pellets completely, normally," Merrill said.

This rough season will roll right into mud season and the weather is also holding up sugaring season. Maple sugar makers need cold nights and warm days, but everything right now is frozen up frustrating those who make maple syrup.

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