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Cleaning Up after the Storm Comes with Heavy Price

STROUDSBURG -- In the Poconos, cleanup from the blizzard did not come cheap, but some community leaders say they were prepared for costs of this storm.

Stroudsburg and Mount Pocono had crews out in full force around the clock cleaning up what Mother Nature left behind, and while the storm came with a big price tag, officials say it's a bill they prepare for well in advance.

More than two feet of snow covered the streets and sidewalks of Main Street in Stroudsburg last week.

"We actually had someone on until Friday at 7 p.m. We split up into shifts and we never stopped," said assistant director of public works Brian Ace.

Borough officials say they had crews out in full force beginning Tuesday at midnight. Those crews worked around the clock to haul away the mess, and it was no easy task.

The good news is there is a plan for something like this, so even though cleanup comes with a big price tag -- estimates of $200,000 or more -- officials say they have the means to pay the tab.

"You're talking overtime and fuel. We had to get trucks come in to haul snow and that adds up. We don't know what the number is, but it's very expensive," said Ace.

Besides the normal challenges like budgeting, making sure they have enough manpower, and equipment malfunction, officials tell us one big problem with this snowstorm was finding a place to put it all. A lot of it is being dumped in an empty lot in south Stroudsburg.

It was much the same in Mount Pocono.

Mayor Fred Courtright says the borough had a few saving graces. One was the amount of salt they had left over from last year.  He says you never know until it's all over.

"Well, we do have to plan for it and you never really know going in what it is going to be. It's easy to look at the last winter and say it's going to be kind of the same, but we couldn't do that the winter before either, so it's really a matter of best guess. We pay what we've got to pay to get the job done," said the mayor.

And just to be safe, borough officials in Stroudsburg tell us they ordered more salt just in case Mother Nature decides to take one last swing at us, but seeing as it's the first day of spring, the hope is that she backs off of winter.