January 27, 2011

For rush-hour drivers, it's already been a long winter

Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- Although seasoned New Hampshire drivers know to expect some hazardous road conditions in January, commuters say that this month Mother Nature has targeted rush hour with heavy snow and bitter temperatures.
Tina DeLuca’s commute from Salem to her nursing job in Peabody, Mass., usually takes about 40 minutes. But last Tuesday, DeLuca and hundreds of other commuters spent more than three hours crawling along Interstate 93 in the early-morning snow.
“It was just horrible,” DeLuca said. “This has been the worst winter with the amount of snow.
 Even just yesterday I went by four spin-outs on my way home.” 

Wednesday afternoon, DeLuca ducked out of work early to avoid yet another storm expected to pick up overnight. 
“If I can leave earlier and beat it, I will. I tried to beat it (earlier) this week, but didn’t,” she said. “They already know that I will be going in late tomorrow because of the snow.” 
Beth Bell Lavoie of Windham spent about two hours getting to work in Billerica, Mass., on Tuesday on a slippery I-93. The commute usually takes about 40 minutes, she said. 
“It took me an hour just to get out of Windham,” she said. “But the good news is that it’s easier to get on the highway in a storm because everyone’s going so slow. There’s always a silver lining in everything.” 
On especially bad days, Lavoie said she is able to work remotely from her home. 
Jason Kehoe of Londonderry has been commuting from Londonderry to Salem for about three years. And he said it doesn’t take long to figure out how to survive New Hampshire’s winter roads. 
“I just leave earlier in the morning,” he said. “You get used to driving in the snow, and you make the changes you need to make.” 

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