Road crews praised for work following snowstorm

Barbara Montgomery jokes with the audience at a question-and-answer session between sets of jazz guitarist Monnette Sudler's December 7 performance at The Flash.

Despite record numbers of snowfall, most area communities had little problem dealing with the weekend weather.

Kennett Borough public works director Joe Scalise said that eight full time and two part time works employees ran in round-the-clock shifts from 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning to roughly sometime Monday afternoon.

"As of 3:30 Monday, we won't have anyone out plowing for the first time since Saturday," Scalise said.

While the crews didn't encounter any serious issues, cars parked along public streets presented a particular obstacle.

"It isn't so much that they were parked on emergency routes as it was people who left and then came home and didn't pull in far enough," Scalise said. "That narrows the roads a lot."

This also marked the first time the crews had to physically remove the snow piles from the top of the borough garage.

Scalise said that usually the snow is left in piles in the corner of the roof, but Scalise said that with so much snow he was worried that piles may not be a good idea.

"It was a pain and it took a long time, but it's better than having the garage roof collapse," he said.

East Marlborough Township Manager Jane Laslo said she feels the township did its "typically really good job" at keeping the roads clear, including the Traditions development, where this was the township's first time maintaining their roads.

Some of the Traditions residents were very worried, because prior to this year they had to hire their own crews," Laslo said. "But we've gotten some very complimentary emails and phone calls saying we did a good job there. I would say for a history-making storm [the road crew] did a phenomenal job."

The next phase for the road crews, Laslo said, is to keep after the potential drifts that sometimes happen in those long stretches of open road throughout the township.

"We used to have quite a problem with drifting along Route 82 just past the high school, but with all the buildings there now, that seems to have slowed down," she said.

In New Garden Township, manager Carmen Raddi said that the phones were generally quite on the Monday morning following the storm, with few residents reporting any significant issues.

"Everything went very well. They put in a lot of time, but it was an extreme storm," Raddi said of the road crew's performance. "There were a couple of areas here and there where they needed a little extra clean up, but for the most part everything went well."

Roger Lysle, road master in Kennett Township, said his crews ran five plows nearly all night long, taking a few hours break between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

"It was a continuous effort, but we did alright," Lysle said, adding that after the roads were mainly cleared out, the crews went back to work on spots where ice and snow had packed together.

Lysle said that the township was also mostly spared from the large drifts that plague other open areas.

"I guess the winds just didn't pick up enough," he said. "But we're still pretty busy."

Pocopson Township's director of public works Don Lane said that his crew of five worked round the clock for nearly 32 hours straight keeping the roads clear and he's yet to hear of any major complaints.

"So far there's no real problems," Lane said. "No roads were closed and there were no serious accidents. We were out early Monday looking for drifts but again there's nothing serious."

One problem the crews encountered, however, is cars parked along snow emergency routes in developments.

Last week, the township issued letters to areas that have been problems in the past. However, Lane said his crews found cars parked in open areas in spite of the posted signs.

He added that the crews fear they will hit the cars with their plows when trying to turn them around in the cul-de-sacs.

Sending in smaller trucks is not enough, he said, because they have only plows and not salt spreaders, necessitating another vehicle, which he said is time consuming.

"Maybe they didn't read [the letters] or maybe they just ignore them," Lane said. "The next step is to issue citations."

comments powered by Disqus