At 11:17 am this morning, I received the following pre-recorded phone update from Mayor Dan Drew, just as the plow was finally getting to our street. We live way out in Westfield, off Atkins Street, and I knew we were not anywhere close to the top of the plowing priority list. Just the same, it was a welcome update from the Mayor, and it was just plain fun to watch a "super plow" do its work! Hopefully, you received the same phone call, but here's the text reprinted, and it is posted on the City's website as well.
From the Mayor:
I’d like to update you on the status of our cleanup. Our plow crews have been operating around the clock since Friday morning. Middletown was one of the hardest hit cities in the state, receiving more than three feet of accumulation in some places with even deeper snowdrifts in other places. Our crews continue to work consistently and diligently.
Our goal is to make each street passable by tonight, but we ask for your understanding as the magnitude of this historic snowfall has presented unique challenges in our cleanup operation. We received more snow between Friday and Saturday mornings than we normally do in an entire winter.
The snowfall was so heavy that several of our plow trucks became stuck or were unable to move the large drifts that accumulated. In order to make the roads passable for our largest plow trucks, we have mobilized our industrial-sized snow blowers attached to Public Works’ front end loader, road graders, and pay loaders.
Our plows cannot adequately clear the streets until those pieces of equipment can make a first pass. We were also experiencing significant winds blowing snow back onto roads that had already been cleaned, necessitating multiple passes on many roads.
I am very appreciative of your patience and understanding during our response. We received such significant snowfall that our plow trucks have spent most of Friday night, Saturday, and last night clearing main roads and critical public safety infrastructure. We are working to get residential streets cleared as quickly as possible. We have also diverted plow trucks off of cleaning routes to escort police, fire trucks, and ambulances to 911 calls and clear the way for electric crews to restore power. Some other cities have even called in the National Guard to assist with medical calls for this very reason.
During the height of the storm we had fire trucks and ambulances getting stuck in the snowdrifts, which required plow trucks and pay loaders to dig out. Many people ignored the City’s parking ban and the state’s travel ban and were stuck, which forced them to abandon their cars. Those cars are now blocking roads, which require public works crews to shovel out by hand so they can be towed. We have towed more than 80 vehicles since Friday morning.
Please also remember that, although the state has lifted its travel ban, we are encouraging you to stay at home until further notice as road conditions are still not good and drivers on the road significantly slow clearing operations.
I very much appreciate your understanding as we work to dig out from this historic storm. I know it is frustrating to have such limited mobility but we are working around the clock to ensure that Middletown gets back to normal as quickly as possible. Please stay safe. Thank you.