Albany crews ready for snow, advise people to stay off roads

Albany city officials were advising the public to stay off the roads if possible and be safe ahead of the snowstorm.

Avoiding the roads will decrease the chances for vehicles to get stuck.

“When that happens, it diverts resources from both police and fire and other public safety public servants in this city – diverting us away from some of the major calls,” said Police Chief Eric Hawkins.

Up to a foot of snow was expected in parts of the Capital Region.

If people to decide to drive, Hawkins said they should make sure they have a fully charged cell phone, charging cables and supplies to keep warm in case they have an emergency.

The city has 43 pieces of snow removal equipment and a full complement of staff at the ready, according to Sergio Panunzio, commissioner of the Department of General Services.

They also have a forestry crew on standby in case there are any downed tree limbs.

The roads have been pretreated with brine, Panunzio said. The city will plow major roads first and then move down to secondary roads and neighborhood roads and sidewalks.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said if people could park their car in a driveway, that would help assist in efforts to remove snow. Also, if the city declares a snow emergency, parking restrictions will be in effect after the snowfall ends.

Fire Chief Joseph Gregory also asked residents if they could help keep the fire hydrants clear.

“We can’t stress how critical it is for these few minutes to gain access to these fire hydrants in the event of a fire,” he said.