Weather makes for busy day for Chesterfield officer
By Casey Farrar
By the time Chesterfield police Lt. Duane M. Chickering reached the police station at 6 a.m. for the start of his shift Wednesday, there was already a report of two tractor-trailers stuck on Route 9.
While Wednesday’s winter storm brushed past Keene leaving only a few inches of snow, about a foot of heavy, wet snow had fallen overnight in Chesterfield, Brattleboro and several other Monadnock Region towns.
Plow drivers had worked through the night, but with snow falling at about an inch per hour around dawn, they were fighting a losing battle.
They aimed to clear Route 9, a main thoroughfare for commuters and delivery trucks, for morning rush hour traffic.
It was the kind of weather that causes schools and even companies to close to keep people off the roads. But for police officers, firefighters and rescue workers, these are often the busiest times — and their responses are crucial.
Sitting in his office at the police station about 7 a.m. Wednesday, Chickering was preparing for the possibility of spending the day responding to crashes and slide-offs. With Chief Lester Fairbanks on vacation, he was the only Chesterfield officer on duty that morning to patrol the town’s 105 miles and respond to calls.
“Oh, this is not looking good,” he said, studying the weather forecast on the computer. Continue reading