UPDATE (3 P.M. MONDAY) - As a result of the effects of the snow storm, and in preparation for possible snow later this week, Port Chester has announced several measures.
- Street cleaning is suspended throughout the Village for the week.
- Parking Meter rules remain in effect on Main Street.
- Snow removal will occur on Main Street this week.
Village Manager Christopher Steers today urged that Port Chester residents and business owners avoid dumping snow - especailly from cars - onto village streets. Steers said many areas that have been post-storm problems were made worse by residents putting snow into the streets.
The big storm that dumped about 18 inches of snow on Port Chester on Friday and Saturday brought with it a wave of concern from village residents about snow removal efforts and the conditions of local roads.
Village officials - and many residents - praised the efforts of Port Chester DPW workers in keeping main roadways open and battling the storm. But in the wake of the storm officials acknowledged hearing from residents who were upset about icy road conditions in Port Chester.
Village Manager Christopher Steers said the storm exposed the need for Port Chester to update its equipment and snow-fighting techniques. Steers said the lessons learned in the storm will be used in the village's budget process.
On Sunday, Port Chester DPW crews were out non-stop during the day from 5 a.m., continuing their post-storm clean up efforts. Steers said he also drove around the village helping to identify streets that needed more attention. However, he noted the big storm showed that the village is also hampered by its equipment limits.
"The problem is two-fold. First our plows are generally not heavy enough to get lower, usually this is not a problem and salting normally takes it down to the blacktop," Steers told village Board of Trustees members on Sunday. "Last night, however, as the salt melted the snow it quickly refroze."
Steers said he instructed that more salting and then sanding be done in the village to cope with the problems.
"This storm is actually opportune in the sense that my budget preparations have identified several fleet needs that are reflected in many ways by this issue," Steers said. "DPW staff still need to be commended on their efforts because they are continuing to do an excellent job with the tools they have."
Among the issues facing Port Chester over the weekend was a perception that its roads were icy and still had snow on them while roads in neighboring communities appeared to be free of snow and ice. Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla said that perception was created because of the use of brining solutions to treat roads in other communities prior to the storm. The technique is the next step beyond standing salting and sanding.
Pilla said that in this storm the Village of Rye Brook, which uses the brining solution on its roads, did a test for Port Chester by using the treatment on part of King Street in Port Chester.
"I have been in contact with other municipalities and their secret weapon has been applying a pre-treatment called 'brining,'" Steers said. "It essentially enhances melting and helps loosen ice and snow so plowing is more effective. I will have complete details (Monday) on the system and foresee making recommendations to the BOT to implement the system."
Port Chester residents posted nearly 40 comments on the snow and snow-removal efforts in the village on Port Chester Patch's Facebook page.
Here are some of the comments posted by readers:
Deborah Dione Harris Fox Island Road, Grace Church St and Leonard streets weren't cleared when I went out this am. As a tax payer, I was not pleased with the road conditions at all.
Linda J Merrill O'Connor I have never seen the road conditions this bad after a snow storm in PC.
Millie Perez Locust ave is full of ice
Maryann Tomassi DeRuvo While the downtown looked very good yesterday, as of 1:00 pm today, Putnam Avenue was terrible! That's a main road, forget about what some roads north of Putnam look like! I understand the need to do the business area first, but by today, I was shocked to see how bad some roads were----- I've been here 35 years and this was so disappointing ----the roads are usually much better, sooner.
Charles Lauria I think it was fun grab a sled grab some boots and go walk to a park and take a day to have a little old school fun and stop complaining about DPW. DPW break there necks on a 12 hour shift. Remind you it was a foot and a half snow.
John Touri Any town usually needs a second day to continue the clean up, overall looks like a good job...
Rose Varbaro In addition people cleaning their cars or sidewalks and dumping in the streets does not help the situation
Yvonne Sierra Funny cause I saw plenty of trucks hard at work during the storm on Friday night into Saturday. Maybe if people didn't plow the snow back into the street and there weren't so many parked cars on the side of the streets they would of had a easier job plowing. None of you take into consideration how hard ALL the DPW workers work and how hard 12-24 hour non stop shifts can be. I'd love to see some of you do a better job