Jul 30, 2014

Highway Super: Clean Up Going Well, But Stay Off the Roads

Workers plowed all night and are continuing to do so on Saturday; Stephen Lynch reports no major issues, but plenty of downed wires and trees.

Highway Super: Clean Up Going Well, But Stay Off the Roads

Despite having not slept since Friday at 2 a.m., East Hampton Town Highway Superintendent Steven Lynch was upbeat on Saturday morning.

"It's good going," he said of the long plowing process. "There were no big issues."

But don't let his positive attitude fool you — it's messy out there, and dangerous.

"Stay off the roads. Let the guys get this done. The sooner we get done, the sooner everyone can get out," he said. "There's a lot of tress and wires down," he said, which workers have to contend with before clearing streets.

There are still about 1,000 power outages being reported in the Town of East Hampton, according to the Long Island Power Authority. A large tree came down across Accabonac Road in East Hampton, near the train trestle, bring lots of wires with it. 

  • RELATED: Share your snow photos here.

East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said village highway workers, led by Scott Fithian, have also been working around the clock to clear the roads. Rickenbach, who was taking a break from shoveling his driveway, stressed that residents should only venture out if they have an emergency.

Lynch reported 45 to 50 trucks on the road working for the town, which includes 38 town dump trucks, a few pay loaders, and the contracted workers who are brought in for the extra help for major storms.

"We never went to sleep," he said. "The guys wanted to stay and do it."

Plowing got extremely dangerous at times. Overnight, "it was building so fast," he said. "There were a few times you couldn't see 50 feet in front of you. That's when we stopped, pulled over, and waited for it to let up."

The town and village declared a state of emergency at noon on Friday, and recommended people stay off the roads after 6 p.m. Parked vehicles on the roads were subject to towing after 8 p.m.

Lynch said the roads were pretty much empty after 9 p.m., allowing the plows through with ease.

The highway department kept in close contact with the joint town and village Emergency Operations Center so that they could accompany ambulances that were called to emergencies. Lynch said there were only a few calls and no major issues.

Salting the roads before the snow started seemed to help a lot, he said. Trucks will hit the roads again with salt after the last round of plowing. "We should be all done by 3:30/4 p.m," Lynch said.

He doesn't expect workers will have to be out again on Saturday night. "It's going to get warmer tomorrow. . . but we'll go back out again if the slush gets hard on the roads."

How do you think the plowing is going? Tell us in the comments below.

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