Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mayor's Update on Snow Removal


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.




23 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that people had to complain via electronic media (see the Patch) before the Mayor acted and sent out his robo call. I would have much preferred a list of streets to be plowed like other towns are doing rather than be told via several self serving press releases that we are the 4th largest land mass town or that the mayor was well prepared for storm sandy.

We get that there is a large amount of snow to be removed. Helpful communication (emphasis on helpful) goes a long way and is how successful people "govern". Mayor Drew gets a D+

Anonymous said...

The mayor made a political miscalculation. Not clearing roads is a huge political liability.

People want results, not excuses.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/February-2011/Snowpocalypse-Then-How-the-Blizzard-of-1979-Cost-the-Election-for-Michael-Bilandic/

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above poster. It is now 3:40pm on Sunday and my street has not been plowed beyond one lane. Ordinarily that would be adequate, but the plows either blocked the intersecting roads with snow or did not clear them at all. Therefore, my street leads to nowhere. I understand this is an enormous snow storm, but obviously Middletown was not prepared. And personally, the robo calls are annoying!

Anonymous said...

I received my phone call at 3:45 while sitting in my modest home on South Front Street -- not a 3/4 $M home off Atkins Street. South Front is still not plowed!

A few large SUVs have driven through, but an average car cannot get through, and the people who have made arrangements w/plowing crews have not been plowed since the Street has not been plowed.

Plowing two years ago was much better when we had several large snow storms. Why wasn't my street plowed first since it is very close to the center?

It's marvelous that Public Works can drive all the way to Atkins Street and pass South Front!

I'm giving Mayor Dan an F.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain why I saw a city dump truck with a plow traverse Laurel Grove Road and Brush Hill Road three times today and didn't plow any snow? I can understand resources being stretched, but just riding around in a truck that could be clearing the road? It's still only one lane of travel and I'm ok with that except for the fact it could be more navigable. I would hate to think it's just someone padding the overtime.

Anonymous said...

Every street around us Ridgewood Najako are accessible but our busy neighborhood is trapped no one has seen a snow plow since 7 pm friday night if they kept a plow going through the side roads there would be a lot less annoyed people out there NO PLOWS SINCE 7 PM FRIDAY COME ON SERIOUSLY if we had 3 inches they would have been up and down the street 50 times we get a dusting and we have plows constantly expecting 30 inches and nothing huh seems like the priorities are a little screwed up here doesnt it?

Congdon street neighbor said...

Why is it when we expect 3 inches we have constant plow trucks we expect 24 plus we haven't seen a plow truck since 7 pm Friday night if they kept a truck going on side roads you would have a lot fewer angry people every street around us has been done a plow truck apparently broke down so don't send out reinforcements what is that all about we were told noon Sunday its now 5 pm and we have not seen one truck even in the vicinity we have elderly people and small children in our area do we really have to wait for an elder of our community to have a stroke before anyone comes... we have jobs we pay taxes some of us even are furthering our education and can not even see the street through 3 feet of snow and its only getting worse out here because the neighbors are dumping truck loads of snow in the road out here Someone send help before this insights a riot...

Anonymous said...

Who decides who gets a robo call?

Danielle said...

I couldn't see my own yard during the storm! I would never expect a plow driver to risk his life driving around in that storm. I witnessed a plow attempt to come up my road yesterday, only to be unable to push the snow and get stuck, so a pay loader came (my road is still not passable). These are not normal amounts of snow to be moved, and it is understandable that cleanup will take longer. It's not like we are the only city/large town with unplowed roads.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Dan -- major mistake. Public safety is obviously not high on your priority list....two plow trucks come down Mount Road, can"t move the snow..and leave!!....leaving a 10 foot mound of snow that will turn into an ice block tonight. On the other side of that now blocked road.... 4 children! They live in house that now have no means of escape should there be an emergency. This is the height of irresponsibility!

Anonymous said...

I bet Main Street is plowed. Too bad most of us can't get there!

Anonymous said...

It is past 7pm now..pearl st. ( between college and court st.) Is not plowed yet.did they forgot us?.street between us was plowed...at least a car can pass.

Anonymous said...

I should be leaving to go to work right now but I can't. This is far from a vacation day but that's what I have to use to get paid for a night I didn't want to take off. My road has not been touched by a plow since Friday evening. Two recorded messages from the mayor with promises of progress but there is none here. How do you plow Westfield Ter and not do Hickory Circle?

Anonymous said...

Hey you guys all voted for this guy- get what you ask for!!!!

vinnie marotts said...

730 on Monday and Barbara road I'd yet to be touched...

Anonymous said...

I get that plows have it more difficult than usual, however it's a huge safety risk when the emergency crews would never be able to get anybody in the Highlands. There r handicapped ppl that live in this neighborhood

Anonymous said...

It's easy to find fault, not so easy to get the job done. I witnessed two different plows get stuck, on the flat, on Pearl St, Saturday afternoon. The city brought in front-end loaders to clear around parked cars (illegally parked cars) so they could return to plow.
Some of you are the same crew that complains about the PW capital budget. We're all frustrated.

Anonymous said...

So it's Monday morning and the mayor's answering machine has the same self-congratulating message as he sent to our house twice yesterday, saying by the end of today (sunday) all roads would be cleared. Have the guts to be accountable for your statement and answer the phone. After the city's plows made a mountain of snow at the end of Mount road they gave up and left, stranding us and our 10 month old baby along with three children in the neighbor's home. There is no possible way an emergency vehicle even with multiple plows could possible get through to help us or our children. This is the height of irresponsiblity and arrogance. Then to have the audacity to leave an old "mission accomplished" message on your phone and run and hide along with everyone else in city hall is insulting.

Anonymous said...

Well, I live off Atkins street and they didn't give us barely a single lane until 4:30PM on Sunday. This Mayor has to go!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Why did Drew heap praise on himself for an almost non-existent highway crew? Can there be an investigation into why plow trucks are not operating as in previous snow storms? Does he have a relative who fell asleep and he’s covering up, thinking the little citizens wouldn’t say anything?

I knew Drew was going to be bad news for our city when his trip to China was announced. Quietly after he returned. No Chinese company will move to Middletown. Just like Malloy’s trip. No Chinese company will move to Connecticut. We should be thrilled we’re allowed to build in China and that’s what the trips were for.

Middletown hasn’t had a concerned, intelligent, hard-working mayor in decades. Each new one cleans what was done before, and then dirties with his/her own private list of perks and ineptness. Isn’t there someone out there who wants to, and CAN, handle mayoral responsibilities in a fair way?

Maybe we need to return to a county-wide government that spread responsibilities and benefits over several towns.

Anonymous said...

Everybody who post comments "Get A Life!" Stop Complaining all of you are beginning to sound like bratty children.

Anonymous said...

Everybody who post comments "Get A Life!" Stop Complaining all of you are beginning to sound like bratty children.

Avery Schlacter said...

I've been looking for a western snow plow for sale in Addison, IL. Do you know where I could find one?