Public Safety: Rain, Layers of Ice Slowing Down Snow Removal

The town has brought out tougher road construction equipment than the normal snow plows to clear the roads, Smithtown's Public Safety Director John Valentine says.

Ice created from the rain prior to Thursday and Friday's heavy snowfall has created unforeseen and unprecedented problems for highway crews in the town's road cleanup process, according to Smithtown's Public Safety Director John Valentine.

"We had the resources to do the job, it’s just unprecedented environmental issue that’s just beyond anybody’s control," Valentine said. "In the 30-something years that I’ve been dealing with snow-fighting I’ve never seen anything like this that had the weight that it had."

Valentine said the major or arterial roads typically get the first and fastest attention, but the ice made clearing even those nearly impossible, citing Gibbs Pond Road, a road that rarely ices he said, as having a 5-inch layer of solid ice. 

"It made it difficult for our equipment to deal with, so strategies had to be effected to deal with that snowfall, that sub-base of that snow," he said. "That, and the amount of snowfall, you’re looking at 30 inches of snowfall and drifts of four or five feet all over town, just made for a difficult situation."

Public Safety and the Highway Department have been consistently fielding calls of roads not being opened up and roads not cleared to where the residents feel they could drive safely, concerns the departments have targeted Monday.

To achieve this the town is using outside sand companies they've secured to hit mostly the courts and back roads, and have brought out heavy road construction equipment to break up the ice sub-base on the roads, including all of the town's road graders.

john mo February 15, 2013 at 03:27 PM
All people want is instant gratification. Flip a switch and the power is back.flip a switch and the roads are clear. I would like to see one of you whiners plow a 30 inch snow storm. Screw you. Have a nice day.
new guy February 15, 2013 at 04:39 PM
What amazes me is that for the past 30+ years everyone did nothing but praise te snow removal efforts in smithtown. The largest dumping of 30" of snow in 12 HOURS happens and there were some real issues with the removal and everyone is out for blood. It's nothing but politically motivated.
Lady L February 18, 2013 at 04:54 AM
clearly a HWY Dept worker....screw you and your golden benefit/retirement package....plow my street correctly biatch....I hope I am speaking your language !
John K Massaro February 18, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Your vile post has been flagged...
Rachael February 21, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Funny part is you all think posting here is going to get a resolution from the town!!! This is like a gossip column not a newspaper! Get over it!! My husband just stopped working overtime on Sunday and yea the money is nice but guess what my kids were thrown around all week trying to find someone to watch them, it was an unconvience but get the hell over it! You all need to realize you have your health, and YES I pay taxes too!!!


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