Blizzard 2013 produced the region's fifth largest snowstorm in history, yet Foxborough reported very few problems from the two-day storm.
For the first time in over a year, a major storm in town did not result in massive power outages. In fact, this weekend’s blizzard produced zero outages – only flickering lights on Saturday night.
That was the good news. The bad was Foxborough was part of the "jackpot" area for snowfall in Massachusetts, accumulating 29 inches in town, according to the National Weather Service.
That record amount of snowfall left a massive mess for the town's DPW to clean up. Workers hit the roads Friday and plowed day and night through Sunday, taking short breaks to sleep and eat, according to DPW Director Roger Hill.
Despite their around-the-clock efforts, the DPW was not able to dig out the town's sidewalks in time for school Monday, which forced Foxborough Public Schools and Foxborough Regional Charter School to remain closed in the aftermath of the blizzard.
In the aftermath of Blizzard 2013, we asked Foxborough Patch's Facebook readers to grade the town's plowing of streets. Many expressed frustration of the road conditions in town Sunday following the blizzard while others praised the efforts of Foxborough's DPW employees. Below is a look at the conversation sparked on Foxborough Patch's Facebook page.
Join the conversation here to give praise or thanks to the DPW's employees or express your frustrations in the comments below, but keep in mind, the blizzard was the fifth largest snowstorm in New England history.
What Foxborough Patch readers were saying about the town's plowing Sunday night:
Amy LaBrache: They did the best they could, was up all hours of the night and the roads are passable ... doesn't anyone remember '78 when the town was basically closed down. .... They were out today also. Past my house several times. Give them a break.
Raquel L. Auriemma: F. Went out last night, just a quick drive up Chestnut St. I totally expected it to be less than stellar. But when I went out again at noon today, I would have expected better conditions. There are several inches on the road, causing people to slide or get stuck. But on the state portion of 140 and Route 1, it's down to pavement. Didn't see a single plow when I was out either. Freezing rain overnight is only going to make it worse for those trying to go to work in the morning.
Scott Gibbs: F- ... They plowed?
Bruce Barnett: Worst town I had been through today.
Melissa Fino Letson: F. Yes, they were out all hours of the night but they could have been out there today plowing the roads.
Kayla Byrnes: I would have to say a solid C. They put the effort in and worked throughout the night, however, there is a lot of loose snow that could be removed from the roads. I think it's advisable to get that up before the rain comes, considering the storm drains aren't visible. Tomorrow night and Tuesday morning the roads are going to be sheets of ice.
Dale Wigmore: A+ ... we are all home with our kids next to a hot fire watching movies and these guys are working 18 hour shifts ... then we all go sledding in the aftermath ... all you complainers...pick up a shovel and work a storm for 18 hours ... hats off to the DPW.
Deborah Orlando Stone: This depends. C if we are hoping for single wide berth and a D if we are hoping for double. Saw a police man flying by my house trying to cram between two lanes of traffic who were still moving - they were all lucky not to have crashed.
Roseann Burbank: Better than my town when I drove through it. Plainville and North Attleboro were worse.
Samantha Stowell Smith: I dont know on a specific grade, but I was incredibly surprised at how poorly MAIN roads like Mechanic, South & Chestnut were ... there were better side roads all over town, which was pretty frustrating.
Sharlene Widak Smith: I give an A to anyone who tried to work this storm!!!
Papa Bill: I'd say for a storm of this magnitude, A+ to basically be up and running when the Governor lifted the ban yesterday. The private plow guys hitting a few businesses and houses here and there (and getting there on town streets) have a hard time.
Irene Giagkas: Main roads like Mechanic and Chestnut were a mess ... Drove through four towns and Foxborough was by far the worst.
Janelle Weir: My husband plows for the town and on behalf of him and all the other DPW guys and contractors they did great. Were you all out there overnight plowing in white out conditions while being exhausted? Were you away from your families through all this storm? They had no place for food or drink to have they went 36 hours straight, exhausted, hungry, and plows breaking cause of the large amounts of heavy snow. Yes some roads weren't done great Saturday but they had to sleep to function. They were back at it again today, it was two-feet of snow to clean up it is not easy. So please stop and think about them before you post comments about how they sucked, they risked their lives to get those streets plowed. You think you can do a better job, by all means go ahead!
Rick Welch: Poor. Was in Burlington yesterday and the main roads were down to pavement.
Tammy Ludwig: All I can say is I saw a Main Street resident shoveling his snow into the street!
Pat Larkin: I know many of you have expressed frustration over the road conditions, but I can give you a little insight first hand. My husband was a mechanic for the Highway Department for 38 years (retired two years ago) and plowed every one of those years including the Blizzard of '78! Then when he got done plowing he had to go in and repair all the stuff that broke! Those guys go out at the beginning and continue for hours and days on end catching a catnap when they can. They drive through the night in blinding conditions and continue on the next day and in this case the day after. I didn't see my husband for days many a snowstorm! They only have so many large trucks that are able to push back with great force and use them on most of the main lines, but the majority are smaller contractors with smaller plows. It takes many passes to get the job done and as people start to clear their driveways and such it just adds to their frustrations. They do not push snow in your driveway because they feel like it ... they MUST push back. Then they need to get all the schools done ... and with this much snow it requires using the loaders. And don't forget the Public Safety Building, Senior Center and the entire center of town! Then there are all the sidewalks. Oh ... and after working 2-3 days straight, they try to get a few hours sleep so they can go out at midnight and work through the night hauling away all the snow from around town! Take a look at the snow piles at Booth Playground and wherever else they pile it! It's easy to sit back and criticize, but they have a thankless job that most people don't know the half of what they do. Some people have recognized that and on occasion have sent letters of thanks which they proudly display on their board at work. And once in awhile they get a hot pot of soup or a tray of cookies to keep them going through the night. To all who have appreciated their hard work ... thank you from the wife of a retired 38-year worker who spent many nights in those blinding blizzards!
Sharlene Widak Smith: I'd like the complainers to get in a loader, 20 feet off the ground, 10 degrees, zero visibility, navigate downed limbs and broken limbs ... kind of can't believe people are complaining!!!
Kristina Defazio Conti: My brother is a very dedicated worker for Foxborough Highway Department and he busted his you know what all weekend! They get an A+!!
Heidi Laughlin Manthei: I appreciate all the hard work the DPW did to clear the roads ... but more appreciative that the FPS had the good sense to call off school!
Teresa Woo Riley: I will give them a P, which stands for pass. It should be a B. But grading that way might hurt other DPW's feelings. At least I have power though.
Scott Smith: ... I have not seen my family since Friday morning and just got home. It's Sunday what ... is so important that you need to go out for anyway. ... If you don't like the condition of the roads stay [off the roads] so we can do our job.
Melanie Morantus: I'm not a family member of a plow person but I have to say to the people that are complaining, it seems like anything they did wouldn't make you happy. I barely like walking to my car when it's cold let alone shovel. I can't imagine working overnight after overnight in the freezing cold and blizzard conditions. Why are we grading anyway? Can't we just say thank you like we teach our children? My goodness people. Thank you by the way.