Suffield highway department braces for a long night

Suffield crews inspect their plows before every storm. (WFSB)

Spring is officially here, but old man winter isn’t letting go quite yet.

Cities and towns braced for Winter Storm Genny, yet another snow storm that's impacting Connecticut.

In Suffield, the highway department has been preparing all week for this storm by pre-treating roads and checking all of its trucks.

Joe Duval of the highway department told Channel 3 that a lot of work goes into the preparations even before the flakes fly.

“You know the storm is coming a few days in advance, you can get ready," Duval said.

The storm is another nor'easter, the fourth in less than three weeks.

“Get the truck checked, check the oil, make sure the plow is working correctly, the sander as well," listed Duval.

The department is responsible for the roads in town.

“We do 80 miles of road and about seven and a half of private roads. We do all the schools, we do all of the emergency services, police, fire stations, the ambulance, senior center and everything in between,” said highway foreman Mark Cervione.

The department has nine routes in town and each route takes about three hours to complete.

Duval has been responsible for the same route for years.

“My route starts about here. It’s roughly six miles," he said. “Mine here has more cul-de-sacs and dead ends then it does main roads, lengthwise.”

It takes him about 6 hours to complete.

“Sometimes if it’s really heavy, 1 to 2 inches an hour, you’ll be in the truck upwards of eight hours, 10 hours," Duval said. "Taking breaks as you need is definitely the most important.”

Crews are also responsible for clearing out all of the schools, the police department, the fire stations, ambulance and senior center.

If drivers see a plow out on the roads, Duval said there are a couple of things they should remember.

First, don't go as fast and give them some distance so they can do their jobs.

Second, their work doesn't end when the snow does.

“Afterwards, we usually salt everything so that nothing re-freezes," he said. "If it does, we’ll come back and re-salt everything.”

Both the highway department and Suffield police are urged everyone to abide by the parking ban to make things easier for crews out on the roads.

There will also be extra patrols out on the roads.

“If you don’t have to go somewhere, then don’t risk your safety and the safety of others by going out. If you have to go out, travel very slowly, drive slowly, give yourself plenty of space between you and the car in front of you,” said Capt. Christopher McKee, Suffield police.

At the end of the day, Duval said there's nothing better than eating a hot bowl of soup and relaxing.

For the latest on the forecast, read here.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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