Snowplows at the ready at the Beltway and I-95 in Greenbelt
ROCKVILLE, MD (WUSA) -- Our winter has been so mild, you might expect state highway departments would be socking away cash for next year.
It's spent $30 million of its $36 million dollar snow removal budget for the year. Compare that to Northern Virginia, which has spent less than half of its snow budget: about $20 million of a $55 million budget. DC's spent about $3.5 million of a $6.2 million budget.
"On what? it doesn't make sense," said Margaret Lancaster of Silver Spring. "On snow removal. We've had snow this year?" said Jonathan and Lisa Ai of Rockville.
Maryland State Highway spokesman David Buck says they're have been plenty of iffy forecasts. And putting crews on standby costs plenty.
"This year it just happens to be 95 percent it didn't materializes," says Buck. "But we need be out there 100 percent of the time."
Imagine what we would have said if we got hammered and they weren't ready. "I'd rather talk about this than why did you miss that storm, or how could you possibly not have seen that coming?"
Not everyone's buying it.
"Just those trucks on the Beltway can't cost that much," says Meghan McCaleb of Chevy Chase. "Maybe one million dollars. We should have $29 million left."
Buck also says it's cost a lot to clear the seven feet of snow that's fallen in western Maryland.
Still, some experts say better forecasting might have saved the state a bundle.
It's only February. And we've had snowstorms in April. Another snowmeggedon could blow out the snow budgets of Maryland, DC and Virginia.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com