WATERBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Parts of Waterbury, Conn. got dumped with 30 inches or more of snow during the blizzard over the weekend.

Schools are still canceled and the city’s Department of Public Works crews have been busy clearing city streets.

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So Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary came up with a solution to help the city’s 30 schools dig out. He asked the high schoolers to turn out with shovels to pitch in.

“I called the newspaper and we put something in for this morning, asked them to show up at noon hour and I’ve got over 500 kids out there now in the community, shoveling out our 30-plus schools,” O’Leary told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “I never expected 500 kids to show up here today. Actually, we have in excess of 500.”

O’Leary said the large turnout is good for the community and for the teenagers.

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“It gives them such a good sense of community and gets them involved,” he told Schneidau.

The effort will continue Wednesday morning, with the students meeting at City Hall.

“All the school buses are going to be here and we’ll get them out to the schools by 9:00. We’ll get a good eight-hour day out of them and we should have quite an impact on the 30 schools tomorrow.

The students are earning $8.25 an hour for their work shoveling out the schools.

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