WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK, SEA CLIFF DPW CLEARS STREETS DURING HISTORIC BLIZZARD
January 29, 2016 -- Battling a blizzard of historic proportions, nine workers of the Sea Cliff DPW worked around the clock last weekend clearing the Village's 22 miles of roadway that were being blanketed by two feet of snow. The initial storm crews worked 24 hours with intermittent breaks.
"Eight were on the road plowing and one in the yard repairing equipment and keeping the yard accessible, " said Village Administrator John Mirando. "During a storm the equipment takes a beating - chains snap, wiper blades fail, and plows freeze." Additionally, this time around the alternator on one of the plow trucks failed.
The January 22 storm was particularly challenging, Mr. Mirando said, with snow falling at a rate as much as three inches per hour and winds causing low visibility for plow operators.
"One of the big concerns for the plow operators is that during a snow storm we get people out cross country skiiing, kids on quads and people just walking," he explained. "This, mixed with low visibility, often makes it hard for the plow operators to see them until the last second."
To open up parking, some of the snow had to be carted away with snow on Sea Cliff and Summit Avenues and at some parking areas loaded into trucks and brought to the DPW yard on Altamont. Unfortunately, Mr. Mirando said, space there is limited.
The clean up continued through the end of the week as workers came in early to further clear Sea Cliff Avenue. In total, the clean up took 362 man hours at an overtime cost of $12,700. Fortunately, Mr. Mirando said at this past Monday's Village Board Conference, significantly less sand and salt were needed for this blizzard than had been used during last winter's storms when the temperature stayed low for a significantly longer period of time.
As with any large snow storm, Mr. Mirando said, there are going to be issues. Most he explained, are "a result of the depth of the snowfall, the narrow width of the some streets, and the steep slope of some of the roads on the cliffs."
Often times, he continued, "when we are done with a road, private contractors or property owners push their driveway snow into the road."
As for the performance of his staff, Mr. Mirando was proud. "Without question the DPW workers did a great job under difficult circumstances," he said, "They are very dedicated to making the streets as safe as possible."
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