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Plow drivers: 'It's like pushing cement'

Patrick O'Brien worked past midnight plowing wet, heavy snow from driveways and parking lots in East Aurora.

"It's like pushing cement," he said. "We got 18 inches of snow. You can't back-drag it. It's hard to push. I got stuck twice. My son got stuck twice. It's just the weight of the snow.

"I plowed the Aurora Waldorf School at 10:30 last night, and after I was done my wife called and told me it was closed today," said O'Brien, laughing it off.

O'Brien's good humor is refreshing on the morning after a storm that blew through the Town of Aurora area taking down trees and power lines on South Grove Street and Girard Avenue.

O'Brien runs his family business O'Brien Lawn Care Inc. in Holland. He and his crew have been plowing since Thursday night.

By mid-morning Friday he had five more driveways to plow – and then O'Brien will have plowed all of his customers twice.

Joseph Mattucci of Mattucci Design instructed his nine drivers to replow after six inches of snowfall because it is so heavy.

"Normally with a 20-inch snowfall, we'd do two rounds,  but this we hit every 6 inches," Mattucci said. "Otherwise drivers get stuck and we don't want complaints."

"With it real wet and heavy,  the snow sticks to blacktop and concrete," he said. "The plow floats over the top leaving a half-inch to an inch of snow.  I'm sure there is a lot of things breaking on older plows. The frame could snap."

By early afternoon his crews will make their final sweep to salt and clear sidewalks.

"There's no way around it," said Mattucci. "I told my guys there's no such thing as getting sick, and if they have plans to change them. "




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