The third snowstorm of the season hit Winthrop this week, dropping at least six inches of light, fluffy snow and resulting in the closing of schools and the postponement of Tuesday night’s Town Council Meeting.
Winthrop Department of Public Works crews, under the leadership of Director Steve Calla, began storm preparations Tuesday at 5 p.m. with a sand pre-treatment of the roads. A snow emergency and parking ban went into effect at 6 p.m. The DPW’s full snowplowing operations commenced at 9 p.m. and continued until Wednesday at 5 a.m.
“The parking ban really helped in our operations,” said Calla. “It always does. We need the roads cleared. We received fairly good compliance but there was some towing.”
Calla said the extremely cold temperatures hindered some of their efforts.
“The temperature was under 10 degrees (Wednesday morning) so it’s taking a bit longer for the salt to activate,” he said. “The sunlight helped melt down some things but we were out salting again Wednesday night. We’ll be salting all week.”
Calla was on the job Tuesday at 4 a.m. while his crews began their intense, storm-fighting day at 7 a.m. and stayed on the job for 24 consecutive hours.
“I commend my guys but I guess I’m biased – I think I have the best crew in New England. They don’t complain. They know they’re here for the duration. We have some old equipment and a real limited crew and they stay until the job is done.”
Town Council President Peter Gill toured the town Wednesday and lauded the DPW for their efforts in keeping the streets safe for motorists.
“Our roads looked to be in very good shape,” said Gill. “The DPW did a great job under some adverse conditions. The temperatures really dipped Wednesday. I saw the crews out there working hard.”
While Wednesday’s conditions were tough and complicated further by the extremely cold temperatures, Calla said the Jan. 2 snowstorm created a more difficult challenge because the snow was a lot heavier and “we were dealing with high tides and wind. This storm was much different than that one because we didn’t have the tides to contend with – actually there were astronomically low tides so that wasn’t an issue.”