Shovels and snowblowers out in force to dig out from storm


Sunday February 10, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- In a setting pure white from about a foot of snow, shovels and snowblowers became the most important tools in all of the wintry Berkshires.

Overnight snowfall left almost two feet of snow in some parts of the county, which made early-morning routines like shoveling, ice-scraping and snow-blowing to provide less-treacherous paths for those willing to traverse ankle-high, sometimes knee-high snow, last well into the evening for some.

Donnie Girard and Josh King started their days at 5 a.m. The two employees with Form-All Construction on Britton Street had shoveled driveways, walkways and steps for 20 contracted properties.

But when residents in their homes saw Girard and King out walking with their shovels near downtown Pittsfield, they asked the pair to shovel their property as well, earning the two gentleman a little extra cash.

"People were panicking," King said. "We even had people asking us to shovel a little pathway for their dogs."

The two men walked along South Street at about 4:30 p.m., got in their trucks and headed home after a long day of shoveling about 30 properties in all.

"I'm tired," Girard said before getting into his truck. "I want to go home and have a warm shower."

John Daniels was using his neighbor's snowblower to clear out the back-end of his driveway, and to clear a little pathway to his front porch of his Pleasure Avenue home.

Daniels' neighbor lent him the piece of equipment after he used the machine to disperse the snow from the sidewalks onto the snow in the yard, since Daniels had a bad back.

"It doesn't do it all by itself," Daniels said, who had been clearing out his pathways with the snowblower for about 90 minutes by 5 p.m.

"I'll probably do it for another 30 minutes before calling it quits," he said. "I wanted to start tonight while the snow was fluffy. Tomorrow [Sunday], it'll be heavier."

The mounds of fresh, powdered snow may not be subsiding significantly until later this week, when temperatures slowly climb above freezing during the day.

"It's going to be around for a couple of days," said Ian Lee, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Albany.

To reach Adam Poulisse:,
or (413) 496-6214.
On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse


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