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Green Island snow emergency means all hands on deck

January 21, 2019 06:27 PM

GREEN ISLAND - The snow emergency in Green Island went into effect at 8 a.m., after it was declared the day before. 

NewsChannel 13 rode with Executive Assistant to the Mayor Sean Ward, as he got the word out. 

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First, they go street by street, sounding the alarm and announcing that the plows are coming. If any cars remain, crews try to figure out who they belong to and track down those owners.  

Then, the tow trucks come to get the cars out of the way, as time is of the essence. 

"It's around $2,000 an hour to do this, so we like to get in and get it done. That's why we do announcements. We started announcing yesterday [Sunday], that we were going to have snow removal starting at 8 a.m. today [Monday] and we were back out at it at 7 o'clock this [Monday] morning announcing again.  Then we go to each street.  We try to stay ahead of the trucks," said Deputy Mayor Rick Jones. 

After the tows, the plows move through, getting every city street in a village where many residents rely on street parking. 

People can also park in big lots throughout Green Island. 

"We've got a very experienced crew and we have a lot of flag people.  People come out of the office, get out on the streets and work.  Everybody does what they have to do to make this work," said Sean Ward. 

Firefighters get to work, digging out the hydrants around Green Island. 

Contractors come around and clean the snow piles off street corners. 

Every department gets involved.  They want the mounds of snow out before they freeze in these frigid temperatures. 

"We're unique," said DPW Commissioner Tony Cesare.  "We're small enough to be able to do that.  But we've got a good crew, everybody works together.  It's like a well-oiled machine.  We've been doing it for quite a few years now." 

They've been doing this snow emergency system since the 1950s. 

"It allows us to open the streets up curb to curb," said Jones.  "We don't have any problems with emergency vehicles getting through.  And our residents have a place to park when they come home."  

Credits

Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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