Vehicles Left on Streets Will be Towed
Public works manager also wants residents not to shovel snow onto roads.
Westborough streets won’t resemble parking lots of abandoned vehicles during the impending blizzard, unlike during the Blizzard of ’78.
“If there’s a vehicle impeding our progress on a main road or a secondary, it’s going to be towed – no questions asked. Gone,” Public Works Manager John Walden said today.
“Because that was our biggest problem in the Blizzard of ’78. We had the right size equipment. But it couldn’t get to where it had to go because vehicles were blocking the lane.”
“Any vehicle found blocking snow removal will be tagged and towed,” police wrote.
Walden said the public works garage will be emptied during the storm. Every piece of equipment will be used, he said.
Walden added that he asked Police Chief Alan Gordon and Fire Chief Nick Perron to check with their employees regarding truck licenses.
“We are looking for people that are town employees and know how to drive a plow truck,” Walden said.
“So if we have somebody get sick, or if somebody gets tired after 24 hours and the storm is still going after 24 hours, we can find people to sit in the seat and keep the equipment moving.”
Walden said he heard that “four to six inches of snow per hour” are predicted during the storm’s height.
“Even when you get two to three inches per hour, you can’t afford to stop,” he said.
Under the public works union contract, “the men get a break every four hours,” Walden said.
The town “can’t afford to have them commute to here or downtown for their break. So, what we’re doing is we’re setting up food in each truck, so they can stop and take a 15-minute break,” he said.
“It would take an hour round-trip to go from the farthest point in town to here, take a break and then go back. We can’t afford that.”
Walden said that “our primary objective will be to keep the main roads and the secondaries open. And the second priority would be the neighborhoods.”
“If this gets as bad as they say, there might be some neighborhoods that you won’t be able to travel around. We’ll get to them the following day. We’re talking the very, very worst scenario,” he said.
Walden added that “we’ve got a lot going for us. The ground is bare. So we have storage on the side of the roads.”
“It’s supposed to be a light, fluffy snow. So, that’s in our favor. But what’s not in our favor is it being light, fluffy snow, there’s going to be drifting,” he said.
Residents can help keep the roads clear by not shoveling snow into the streets, Walden said.
“People blow the snow into the street because they feel that we push the snow onto their property,” he said.
“They’re wasting their own money. They’ve paid us to clear the road. Make every effort to keep the snow out of the road. Because that’s going to drive the expense up. We’re going to have to come back and re-plow.”
Residents also should clear the hydrants near their home, Walden said.
The public works crew’s work won’t end after the snow stops falling, he noted.
Catch basins will be checked early next week, when rain is forecast.
“We shift gears. Now we’re going to be worried about flooding,” Walden said.