With up to a foot of snow now being forecasted to wallop the region beginning Friday afternoon, Town of Babylon officials are in full-prep mode for the first major snowstorm in two years.
“At this time as much as a foot of snow is being forecast for our area, so we are taking this storm very seriously,” Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said in a press release. “I have directed our Department of Public Works to deploy all necessary resources to clear our roads as efficiently as possible and I ask residents to assist by moving their cars off the streets.”
More than 100 Town plow vehicles are currently being prepped, equipped, and fueled and additional sand and salt has been brought in to deal with icing conditions, Schaffer said. More than 30 private contractors and volunteer firefighters are also on stand-by with plowing equipment if needed.
The Town expects to begin plowing as soon as significant snow accumulation begins and every part of the 537 miles of Town roads will receive multiple passes through the hours following the storm, officials said.
"We are confident that our workforce is prepared – most of our workers have been handling snowstorms for 20-30 years," said Tom Stay, commissioner of the Town's Department of Public Works. "Our approach is bring all our plow forces on at the start to get a full sweep of all the roads. Then we can always ramp down the forces if the storm is not as severe as predicted."
The trouble on the roads may begin before the heaviest snow starts falling Friday evening.
“This particular storm is forecast to bring a wintry mix of precipitation before snowfall even begins, meaning we will have a very dangerous layer of ice to deal with on the roadways,” Deputy Town Supervisor Tony Martinez said. “I urge all residents to stay off the roads if possible, and exercise extreme caution if you must drive during the storm.”
Town officials are encouraging residents who are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy to take additional precautions. A warming shelter will be open 24 hours a day at the Town of Babylon Annex located at 281 Phelps Lane in North Babylon.
If there are power outages due to the storm, residents are welcome to use the Annex as a charging station for electronic devices, officials said.