"We are at the straining point for all our accounts," First Selectmen Jeb Walker said regarding the budget for snow removal. "We have had an unprecedented amount of snow this year."

Unprecedented might be an understatement. According to Public Works Director Mike Pastore, the last blizzard to hit New Canaan more than two weeks ago cost the town approximately $71,000 on top of the $85,100 spent on the December blizzard. The money comes from various different accounts Walker said, including the overtime account and other capital accounts that provide for the raw materials that aid in snow removal.

"We will probably have to move money around the Public Works budget," Walker said. "If that does not work then we will have to come in for a special appropriation, which may or may not happen."

The chances of that happening are getting better. With another snow storm hitting New Canaan this week that could potentially add around 9 more inches of snow, the appropriation could certainly be in the cards.

"You're getting a ton of snow," said Shaun Tanner of www.weatherunderground.com. "It's over three times the average."

Several factors are contributing to our winter wonderland, Tanner said. For starters, temperatures have usually been cold enough to produce fluffy snow more often than not, which can boost snowfall totals considerably. In fact, the melted precipitation that we've had so far this winter is about normal, he said.

"You guys are 28 inches above normal in the snowfall department, but in terms of melted precipitation, you're only two-tenths of an inch above normal," Tanner said.

Whatever the case may be, if the snow does not let up, New Canaan and many other towns around Connecticut are going to feel it in their wallets.

-- Staff Writer John Burgeson contributed to this report.

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