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Durham Public Works Shed Collapses Under Snow

Town to ask state for temporary help with storage of salt and sand

Public works road crews in Durham - already fatigued by the seemingly endless number of winter storms - were dealt another blow Thursday when the town's shed used to store salt and sand partially collapsed under the weight of more than two feet of snow.

"We were getting a delivery of oil and the guy said he saw a couple of people underneath it and told them to get out from underneath there," said Kurt Bober, the town's director of public works.

No one was hurt and by Thursday afternoon workers had removed the materials being stored under the collapsed shed. They had also installed concrete barriers and placed yellow caution tape around the damaged structure to prevent anyone from getting too close to it.

Bober said the collapse left the town without an area to legally store the materials, which under state law must be covered.

"We need some salt, we're expecting deliveries. I'm going to try to get ahold of the state to see if I can borrow some space and work out of their shed at the top of route 17," he said.

The collapse comes as crews continue to clean up from last month's storms.

"We have roads that are still narrow. We've hired outside contractors to widen the road and we've attacked the sight lines, because it's been dangerous for people."

According to Bober the cleanup is about 85 percent complete.

"Our guys are tired," Bober said, while pointing out that another storm is expected this weekend and that he expects town-wide issues with flooding if temperatures reach 40 degrees next week.

"A lot of our catch basins aren't open. We'll go to the bad spots that we're aware of and clear them out."

The town has already spent about 80 percent of its $135,500 snow removal budget according to Bober, who warned that February is typically the busiest month for plow crews.

He did not give a timetable as to when the shed will be fixed or replaced.

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