Snow in NYC: Reality and Wishfulness

In Chief, Cleaning, DSNY Life, Equipment, Gallery, Night Plow, Sanitation Worker, Superintendent, Supervisor, Weather by Samuel RiveraLeave a Comment

Its just not that easy!

Just like everything around us these days, the Monday morning quarterbacks are up and putting their two cents in and more than ever in these times they are being heard. Mind you that could be a good thing, for example they have an insight that should be considered because they have a different view of these storms than lets say DSNY or the Mayor(more eyes).

DSNY IS SOCIAL, maybe too social, welcome to a million eyes and opinions.
DSNY Twitter, DSNY Facebook, DSNY Flicker and DSNY Official Site

Lets be realistic these major storm are no laughing matter and its in everybody interest to heed the warnings that are put out and have some kind of plan in store for at least a week and even have a continuance plan in case some unforeseen things pop up. Buying a shovel, salt, milk, water and eggs is just not enough!

Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

To keep it simple: The city is only concern during these storms is to keep the masses informed and keeping the roads as safe as possible for emergency vehicles to get from point A to point B, and this is where it gets tricky, the major problem with this part is the cars that decide to go out “not prepared” and getting stuck and in the process throwing a monkey wrench in the process of managing the storm and that carelessness in turn takes away vital resources from people doing their job clearing the snow and interferes with emergency service getting to a life or death situation somewhere else.

Now that the storm is over, What do we do? Complain that our streets are not plowed or not plow right, amazing! Ask yourself one question, What did I expect to see after the blizzard? I’m not trying to get on peoples nerve, but lets be serious, we are not going to get these streets cleaned as quick as we want for numerous reason, its not worth getting a heart or anxiety attack.

Some of the reasons that your street was not plowed or plowed right.

  • Narrow street or narrow street with inexperienced operator(newbie).
  • Too much snow to attempt to go into block(might get stuck and that vehicle is now out of commission for an extended time) and other equipment will have to be dispatched to get him out that could have been used elsewhere.
  • Vehicle assigned to that route went down and was unable to get equipment into that route or get that line(block) in time.
  • Vehicle or other obstacle in the way at time that plow went by and was not able to make it back to that block in time.

This city is not designed to be cleaned of snow in one day after these events, the lone exception that I saw this happen was in Feb 2006, in that one the weather was kind to us and kept it above freezing for the week and with all the salt we threw at it and some help from the sun we cleaned that one up in record time.

Worst snowstorms in New York City history

Some other problems associated with these storms:

Where do we put all this snow?

pile of snow

Everybody knows space in NYC is a premium and nobody wants to be inconvenient with mounts of snow on their property or near their property. How do we clear all these streets of all the snow after the event has ended? Plows only push snow left, right or forward(forward only for short distances when there’s a lot of snow) and the plow will have to be manually maneuvered to those positions.

DSNY has always used piling of mounts to make it easier to remove, but that takes a huge amount of manpower and coordination. Once the piles are made by the collection trucks and front end loaders(FEL) the fun begins with the loading of cut-downs (dump trucks) using the FELs. The cut-downs are now taken to bigger mounts of snow in pre-determined spots and to Snow-Melters across the city where the snow is loaded into a tub and melted into the pre-determined sewer. Please stay off the road and make a plan!

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