City Preps for First Post-Sandy Blizzard
Long Beach officials ask residents to shovel displaced neighbors' sidewalks.
“We have a lot of homes that are still unoccupied in the city, so we’re going to ask some folks to be good neighbors and make sure the sidewalks are clear and open,” Jim LaCarrubba, Long Beach’s commissioner of public works, said Friday afternoon. “That’s a concern of ours.”
The request — along with officials asking residents to remove their vehicles from the streets and avoid shoveling snow from their driveway into the middle of roads — is part of the city’s greater effort to prepare for clean up after a snowstorm that is forecasted to bring about a foot of snow to Long Beach.
Long Beach has about 40 vehicles to clear snow from the streets, from plows to payloaders to dump trucks. Toward that end, the city employed the Swift911system Thursday to inform residents of a declared snow emergency that would begin at 6 a.m. Friday, in order to clear the primary emergency routes of vehicles.
“We’re going to be out there with the snowstorm the whole night,” LaCarrubba said. “With the rain today and then the snow on top of the rain, we’re going to have that layer of ice and the roads are going to be very slippery. If you can avoid going out tonight, do so. It will make it a lot easier for the residents, but it will also make it a lot easier for our vehicles to move around.”
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Since state regulations prohibit the city’s past practice of dumping snow into Reynolds Channel, the city has designated lots throughout the city for dumping. These include two lots on Broadway, one between Lafayette and Laurelton Boulevards, and the Superblock, between Riverside and New York boulevards. The parking lot at the Recreation Center, which is currently closed, will also be used to dump snow, as well as another site on Park Place.
Nemo has some, if not many, storm-wary residents concerned about flooding. The Nor’easter is forecasted to bring 55-mph wind gusts and coastal flooding, and high tides arrive at approximately 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday in Long Beach. This, after Hurricane Sandy wiped out the protective dunes and destroyed the boardwalk three months ago. Meanwhile, as officials make plans to restore both entities, the city has created makeshift dunes along the stretch of beach from the east to west ends.
“It’s held so far,” LaCarrubba said of the temporary dunes or berms. “This storm doesn’t seem to be presenting anything different than any of the Nor’easters that have come through.”
The most recent severe winter storm in Long Beach arrived the day after Christmas in 2010, when a blizzard that struck the region dumped about two feet of snow on the barrier island, and strong winds produced drifts that added to the totals in many areas. Following that storm, residents hit City Hall with a flurry of complaints about snow removal. Chief among them were that streets were not plowed days after the storm, and in some neighborhoods, such as the West End and Canals, large snow plows could not fit on narrow streets.