Jul 30, 2014
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DPW: Stay Off the Roads

The DPW Commissioner is urging residents to stay off the roads if they can help it while city workers battle the 2013 blizzard.

DPW: Stay Off the Roads

As plow drivers attempt to keep roads clear, officials are asking that people remain off the roads if they can.

"Our hope is that there are as few vehicles on the roadway competing with our operations as possible,” said Department of Public Works Commissioner Ronald LaFreniere. "We will be doing our best to keep all the roadways open during the storm."

The commissioner is also hoping that businesses will release employees early.

"We absolutely encourage people who do not have to be on the road and who do not have to be out at all during this event to stay home and enjoy the snow from the comfort of their own home and give us an opportunity to deal with the storm without the impact of vehicles that are stuck on the side of the road and interfere with our operation," said LaFreniere.

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That is shaping up to be a monumental task with whiteout conditions predicted for the heart of the storm where anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of snow could fall in an hour. LaFreniere says this will not deter the talented plow drivers of Marlborough, but that you need to be very careful in these conditions.

“It won’t be the first time our personnell, who are very talented individuals, will be dealing with white out conditions," he said explaining that at times it can become too dangerous even for experienced drivers. “We have pulled vehicles off to the side of the roadway until the conditions clear."

If today is about tackling the storm, yesterday was all about preparation. By ensuring all the systems are working properly, such as pumps and backup generators for the city's water supply, everything should go seamlessly today.

There is danger of downed trees with the high winds that are supposed to accompany the blizzard. Between downed trees and intense amounts of snow, at times there is only so much the department will be able to do, said LaFreniere.

“There may be times where it is virtually impossible to keep certain side streets open," he said explaining that the department will be doing everything it can to keep the roads open.

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