DPW Plows Nearly 24 Hours Straight in Most Recent Storm
Plowing began Wednesday at 7 a.m., and continued through Thursday.
The break for Hillsborough's Department of Public Works came Wednesday afternoon, when the snow lightened up, and workers had a chance to prepare for the next wave of weather.
Still, in a winter where storms have marked every week since Christmas, the workers know it's their chance to stand out, according to Department of Public Works Director Buck Sixt.
"Pretty much, every resident is telling us they've had it with winter," Sixt said. "It's a mixed bag for the guys. They know it's their time to shine."
With Wednesday's storm, workers took to the roads shortly after their shifts began at 7 a.m., plowing and salting until around 5 p.m.
"It was pretty clear yesterday afternoon," Sixt said. "Then we got ready for the second blast."
Then, workers grabbed dinner and slept for a few hours—the Hillsborough YMCA provides cots for the workers to rest—while contractors took to the roads around 9 p.m..
"We find it keeps us fresh because it allows the guys to rest and someone is still on the road," Sixt said.
This morning, the workers took to the plows and salt trucks again, working on clearing the roads in Hillsborough's developments. The challenge, this time, is the cars parked in the streets, according to Sixt.
"If people didn't park on the streets, it would make our jobs easier," he said. "The roads are pretty good, so they are getting in the developments and cleaning."
Despite the once-a-week storms, salt supplies have not been a problem, which Sixt attributed to the new salt dome. In addition, the department's seen no major equipment breakdowns either.
"We have plenty of salt and plenty of storage," Sixt said. "The supply of salt has not been an issue at all."
While the department's budget is solid now and Sixt expects to receive Federal Emergency Management Aid (FEMA) to offset the cost of the December blizzard, he noted that department works under an annual budget.
"Our budget has to make it through to December (2011), so it's not a seasonal budget," he said.
Even with the roads cleared, the work doesn't stop, Sixt added.
"Tomorrow, we get ready for the next storm," he said.