NORFOLK, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut braced for the first snow of the season. Some parts of the state, like the northwest region, prepared all day Tuesday.
Norfolk Department of Public Works said it is the “ice box” of the state, typically seeing the first and last storm of the season.
Superintendent of Streets Troy LaMere said the area averages 44 plowable events a season.
On Tuesday night, Norfolk got just over an inch of snowfall, the first of the season. This left a small pile of snow for those dealing with a morning commute or an early ride to school.
To prepare, plows loaded up with sand and salt during the day Tuesday, but LaMere said that one vehicle is out of service.
“We are down one truck, unfortunately,” he said. “It’s been a battle this whole year trying to get parts for everything.”
Supply chain issues continue to impact all sectors. LaMere isn’t worried about Tuesday’s predicted smaller storm but said bigger problems are on the way.
“We are so lucky, we get everything. It could be 80 in Winsted and it’s 40 up here,” LaMere said. “Usually we get the first and last storm of the year. It’s going to be a concern but I have avenues where I can borrow trucks from other towns.”
Norfolk is facing more shortages than plow parts, but also plow drivers.
And the small town isn’t the only one affected. Connecticut’s Department of Transportation currently has more than 600 vacancies.
“There’s a nationwide shortage of CDL drivers of plow drivers, so we are actively recruiting, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be out there in full force clearing roads making sure they are safe for people who are heading out,” said Josh Morgan, a spokesperson CTDOT.
The open positions include hundreds of plow drivers. CTDOT typically has 600 drivers on call during any given storm, with salaries up to $67,000.
Regardless the state agency said it is ready for the winter season and for whatever comes — preparing every year to be ready by Nov. 1.
In Wolcott, the city’s plows were called in. Like the state, it also is seeing a shortage of drivers.
“I have been in the truck helping them out,” Mayor Thomas Dunn said. “I only go if they’re in a big blizzard to make sure they’re OK. We don’t take anybody out of work, or take their work from them, but I do go out there to make sure everything’s good once in a while.”
It’s more than drivers, however.
“It’s also mechanics, the people who run the salt yards, of the people who sell the plow equipment, pretty much it just snowballed down from there,” said Dominic Dimauro with Coastal Creations.