Harsh winter's impact will linger despite spring's arrival

Harsh winter's impact will linger despite spring's arrival

READING, Pa. - Spring has sprung and officially arrived in Berks County after a long and relentless winter.

Temperatures climbed into the 50s Thursday, and many people turned the page on winter and are not looking back.

"I'm glad winter is done finally!" said Dontrey Gibson, who lives in Reading.

The sun was shining over Arrowhead Golf Course in Amity Township on Thursday. Tony Matta was one of many people glad to kiss winter goodbye.

"I was getting tired of being trapped in the house," said Matta, who is looking forward to the warmer temperatures.

"No more of this cold weather, no more sweatshirts and no more jackets," said Montana Ganster, who took advantage of a free Rita's water ice on the first day of spring.

It may not be time for no jackets just yet. Winter may officially be gone, but we're still feeling and dealing with its impact.

"With the amount of snow and the extreme cold combined there was no break, it was relentless," said Nelson Ott, road master in Union Township.

Reading recorded 54.1 inches of snow. Many municipalities in Berks busted through their budgets. Union Township is 200 percent over, and now summertime road work and maintenance will have to wait awhile, said officials.

"I suggested to the board Monday evening that we hold off on the blacktop jobs period this year and concentrate on repairing the roads that are cracked and damaged," said Ott.

Many people are still picking up the pieces after some of the oldest barns in the county gave way and collapsed under all that heavy snow. In South Heidelberg Township, Eisenhauer Nissan suffered $850,000 in damage. Thirty-eight cars were crushed after the roof collapsed, but it has since been rebuilt.

"Every day was a storm! The snow was crazy and your car gets messed up with all the salt on the road," said Gibson.

Many townships and boroughs also fought through a salt shortage. Some places are just getting shipments in after ordering them a month ago, said officials, who added they hope they don't need it until next year.

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