Although the streets were still full of slush and ice Monday morning, city trucks helped clear the way, salting and plowing. They have continued with the snow removal throughout the whole week, keeping Bergenline and Palisade avenues clear and tackling side streets.
Salting in WNY
Seventy to 80 Department of Public Works employees have been involved in the cleanup effort since last weekend, said Joseph Rodriguez, director of the Department of Public Works in West New York. Salting and plowing will continue, as well as help for seniors and the disabled if they need to go shopping, or if any emergency arises.
"Our first priority is to keep the streets clean," said Rodriguez. "Presently we have our full crew doing whatever is required, [including] cleaning crosswalks, intersections, bus stops, parking lots, and fire hydrants."
Rodriguez added, "We had a very heavy storm, close to 14 inches, and what we did was send out all our trucks. We did the salting first and then after that we started plowing all night."
The first road cleared was Bergenline Avenue. "We went out on an emergency basis and worked all night," said Rodriguez.
As of Tuesday morning, all the snow on the avenue had been completely removed, which opened up more parking. Most of the spaces down the side streets are still surrounded by mounds of snow.
Snow from plows is dumped onto trucks. They head to a parking lot owned by the city down River Road, which is currently not in use, and pile the snow there. The lot is near the waterfront next to the town's community soccer field, which won't be in use until this summer.
With news of the impending storm being broadcast all over the news, employees of Union City's Department of Public Works came in early on Saturday morning and began salting the streets.
"We came in early, way before the snow began," said Filippo Iacovelli, deputy director of the DPW. "We came in three hours before the storm and started salting the city."
Following the storm's aftermath, the DPW coordinated three 12 hour shifts. They worked for two days straight without stopping and used approximately 450 tons of salt.
Volunteers from the community came to relieve some of the workers so they could take time to rest. Among those lending a hand were Mayor Brian Stack and members of the Board of Commissioners.
"I'm very proud of the workers," said Iacovelli. "They did an outstanding job, and for whatever comes along next, we're ready."
The DPW is also taking down a list of senior citizens and handicapped residents that need their sidewalks shoveled or other services. They can contact the DPW or call the mayor's office. Advertisement for this service had gone through the newspapers a few weeks ago.
In this cold weather, Mayor Stack and the commissioners are also offering Union City residents a free shuttle service to the ferry, which leaves from the Troy Towers on Mountain Road, as a result of the ferry companies cutting shuttle service. Knowing that many residents, especially in that area, depend on the ferry to get to work and school, Mayor Stack initiated this service on Jan. 18.
The shuttle is available Monday through Friday in front of the Troy Towers at 7:05, 7:35, and 8:05 a.m.
Keep it off the streets
A common problem that seems to be occurring for both town DPWs is residents shoveling the ice back into the streets once they have been plowed. This has the trucks continuously having to return to the same spots to plow. "People are trying to clean their cars, and we understand that they don't have the space to pile the snow high," Rodriguez said. "However, it makes it difficult for us to keep doing this."
Residents of both towns are urged to pile the snow as high as possible when digging out their cars to the front and back of the vehicles. The sidewalks and streets must be kept clean to allow access.