Blizzard paralyzes local villages

Evan Nemeroff

With about 20 inches of accumulated snow throughout the Great Neck community after Monday’s blizzard, public workers have spent numerous hours clearing the roads and sidewalks before, during and after the storm for the safety of village residents.

Even though many village officials reported no problems with snow removal after Monday’s storm, this was not the case in the Village of Russell Gardens.

Michael Jurcsak, the superintendent of the village’s department of public works, said as of Tuesday afternoon, there were still five sidewalks out of 18 that needed snow removal. He said the village is behind in this process because there is only one machine available to clear the sidewalks because the other machine broke down.

“The equipment failure slowed down the process and we still have four miles of sidewalk to clear,” Jurcsak said. “Our machines are 15 to 16 years old that have band-aids on them and can only move four miles per hour. It is our goal to have the sidewalks plowed and salted with calcium chloride within the next two days.”

Jurcsak said he prioritizes residential needs when removing snow from the village. The first area his four-person staff works on is clearing the main roads, they then work on residents’ driveway aprons and surrounding fire hydrants, then parking areas on South Middle Neck Road, and lastly the sidewalks.

“The main areas where people traverse are our top concerns during the snow removal process,” Jurcsak said. “We want to make sure these areas are well lit and salted. We also listen to specific complaints from residents and take care of them as best as we can. We are always trying to please our residents and are hopeful to find a happy medium with them so they are pleased.”

In the Village of Great Neck, Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said the village’s department of public works team was out salting and sanding the hills and dangerous corners before the storm began in the 1.4 square mile village.

“Our department of public works guys worked over 24 hours,” Kreitzman said. “They did a magnificent job cleaning up the roads which look great now. I have received lots of compliments from residents who said the department of public works did a great job during this storm.”

Kreitzman said the Village of Great Neck is nowhere near the budgeted amount for snow removal because this was an early season storm.

“We have a substantial amount of money allocated for laborers and materials for snow removal,” Kreitzman said.

Village of Great Neck Estates Public Works Superintendent Ernest Garvey said village roads were cleared by Monday at about 3 p.m. Garvey said 10 men worked 27 straight hours to plow and sand the streets in Great Neck Estates.

Garvey said the staff is now working on clearing the snow from the catch basins because warmer temperatures are expected at the end of the week along with rain on the weekend.

“The roads are safe to drive on right now,” Garvey said. “We have to look out for major flooding on our streets after a storm like this with the anticipated weather that is supposed to be in our area throughout the week.”

Village of Great Neck Estates Mayor David Fox said village residents were cooperative during the storm by taking their cars off of the streets after he called for a snow emergency at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“We have been notifying people all-year to clear the streets so the public works team can remove snow effectively during a storm,” Fox said. “The residents listened to our requests and the members of the department works did an unbelievable job plowing, salting and sanding the roads.”

Village of Thomaston Mayor Bob Stern said all his village roads are open and clear. Stern said the village had money budgeted for this storm and said there were no power failures in the village during the snow storm.

All roads in the Village of Saddle Rock were open on Tuesday. Village clerk Donna Perone said she received no phone calls about any power failures or emergencies in the village during the blizzard.

In the Village of Kensington, Police Chief Lieutenant Michael Conlon said the village was lucky that there was no ice on the roads after the storm.

“For the amount of snow we had, the entire clean up process went very smoothly,” Conlon said. “Residents were compliant leaving their cars off of the streets which helped remove the snow. Our roads have a black top and there is nothing preventing people from driving around the streets of Kensington.”

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Evan Nemeroff

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