Highway Departments in the Mid-Hudson Region had their hands full on Sunday and Monday. Employees were tasked with clearing snow and ice from countless miles of roads.
The key to completing this task was preparation.
“We just had to wait for the snow to fall,” said Michael Aumick, highway supervisor for the Town of Wallkill.
All of their equipment was ready to go prior to the storm. Though they were over this year’s budget for salt, the Wallkill Town Board is always glad to give them funding for more salt. For storms like these, the department has about 40 employees clearing the roads. Members of the water, park and highway department were called on to contribute.
Preparation is also the name of the game for the Crawford Highway Department. They began prepping for the winter season in late October. At that time, the department made sure their equipment was ready to handle the weather. They have the luxury of an experienced workforce.
“Most of my guys have a lot of experience,” said Larry Marshall, Crawford’s highway superintendent. “We are prepared.”
The Crawford Highway Department has an experienced group of 10. The town is well prepared for snow storms, as they have 3,000 tons of salt at their disposal.
Much like the Wallkill and Crawford Highway Departments, Gardiner prepared for the snowstorm in advance. The town’s highway department began to prepare for the winter season in October. At that time, they made sure that their vehicles were working properly. By the end of November, the group was ready to face winter weather.
In the week leading up to the recent snowstorm, the Gardiner Highway Department watched the forecast very closely. Employees made sure to get a lot of rest due to the brutality of Sunday and Monday’s storm. The department tried to prepare ahead of time as best they could.
“[We had to] be proactive,” said Brian Stiscia, Gardiner’s superintendent of highways. “The weather is just so unpredictable.”
The group is poised for the harshness of the winter weather. They currently have 200 tons of salt in stock as well as a barn filled with salt and sand mix. Their nine employees are dedicated to keeping Gardiner’s roads safe.
The Town of Montgomery also faced the snowstorm head on. Their highway department sent 12 trucks to clear the roads. Following the storm, they still have approximately 750 tons of salt left. The department contains a mix of veterans and newcomers. Shaun Meres, the superintendent of highways for the Town of Montgomery, was pleased with his department’s work during the snowstorm.
“They did great,” he said. “Everyone made it home safe.”