Friday, 14 January 2011 00:00
The town had its first real taste of winter on Dec. 26-27 when a blizzard blanketed the town, dumping up to 20.5 inches in some areas. While the snow of Jan. 7-8 paled in comparison, the depths of winter are still ahead, so there is a good chance we may have more significant snow, according to Town Councilwoman Rebecca M. Alesia, who advises residents that whatever Old Man Winter brings, the town is prepared.
“The town is always prepared whenever it snows to quickly clear roadways and handle emergency situations, but residents should also have a viable course of action prepared in the event of a snowstorm,” Alesia stated. “The town has prepared an informative brochure that explains snow removal procedures, offers some very important safety tips and lists things residents can do to help in the overall process. While we hope we don’t get another storm like we had in December, we need everyone to be prepared.”
Alesia noted that any resident or organization interested in obtaining the free brochure can pick up one at Town Halls North (Oyster Bay) and South (Massapequa), the Department of Public Works (Syosset), at major park facilities, or call or write to the Town of Oyster Bay Public Information Office, Town Hall East, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay, N.Y. 11771 (624-6380). A copy can also be downloaded from the town’s website, www.oysterbaytown.com.
The councilwoman stressed that it is important for residents to keep in mind that just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two snowstorms are the same. “An off-hand response to the question of how a particular storm will be managed is, ‘It depends,’ but the truth of the matter is that varying conditions make it difficult to provide a precise answer as to how or when particular roads will be treated. Timely and efficient snow removal is affected by many variables. During every snow event, these variables must be taken into consideration and the response tailored to the specific conditions. Some of the more common factors that can change the impact of a storm and the town’s response are the day…weekday, weekend or holiday… and time of day or night of the snow event; amount of the snowfall; wind; ground temperature; temperature changes; and microclimates, which are distinctly different climates within a larger area. Across our town, there are a number of microclimates in which weather conditions can vary significantly, so the response of the crews must be tailored to those conditions.”
Alesia went on to say that the town’s “battle plan” for snow control is a comprehensive one, but one of the keys to its success is town residents, who can help by keeping their vehicles off the streets and out of the way of snow-clearing equipment. If off-street parking is not available, town law stipulates that residents must park on the side of the street with odd-numbered houses in odd-numbered years, such as 2011, and even-numbered houses in even-numbered years.
The councilwoman indicated that one of the major complaints after any major snowstorm is driveway entrances being covered over by plows. “While we urge residents not to shovel until after the plow has come through their street, many residents can’t wait. If you must clear your driveway before the plow comes, pile the snow on the right side of your driveway (when facing the street) when shoveling. This helps to minimize the pile of snow created by the snowplow at the end of your driveway.
“For most of us, snow is an inconvenience, but town crews work hard to clear the more than 800 miles of town roads as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Alesia concluded. “With your help parking your cars off the streets, not driving unless absolutely necessary and not blowing or shoveling snow into roadways, we can minimize the inconvenience and get things back to normal even faster.”