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Blizzard 2013: Woonsocket Mopping Up After "Overwhelming Response" To Plow Callout

Roads remain narrow as DPW turns to widening, sanding operations.

UPDATE, 2:12 p.m. : Mount St. Charles is closed Monday. Accepted students day is postponed.

UPDATE, 2 p.m. : Woonsocket Public Schools are canceled Monday and Tuesday, no activities.

Highway Director Rick Lambert reports the city's streets are cleared, thanks to the help of an "overwhelming response" to the city's call for plows during the Blizzard of 2013.

"It was outstanding and well-appreciated," Lambert said. Unfortunately, they didn't get the big six-wheel trucks they'd been hoping for, so while the roads are clear, most are still pretty narrow.

Lambert said 17 local pickup truck plows responded to Chief Gary Lataille's plea for help clearing the roads after half the city's snowplow fleet broke down.

The highway director said a combination of the age of the trucks and the unusually high amount of snow - two feet - contributed to the breakdowns. He noted the snow also took out the transmission on one contractor's relatively new truck. Lambert said the situation was understandable given the city's troubled finances and the millions of dollars required to replace trucks.  

A parking ban remains in effect for the city through 9 a.m. Monday, and police will continue to aggressively ticket and tow violators. The Governor's travel ban was lifted yesterday at 4 p.m., but one readers' report highlights the risk of unecessary travel on the narrow roads.

Woonsocket Patch reader Jonathan Hayes wrote in this morning about an accident he witnessed on Rhodes Avenue. A car driving up Rhodes got stuck in a snow bank when a second car pulled out of Friendly Nursing Home's lot.

No one was injured, according to Hayes, but the photo he sent in doesn't show much room for cars to avoid each other on the road.

Today, Lambert said the DPW road crew's objective is to widen main roads, expanding to more secondary roads and clearing some municipal parking areas. After that, a sanding operation will commence to put down some traction on the roads.

Lambert asked for residents' patience as they work to clear more snow from the streets. He said he's not a fan of getting his driveway plowed in at his own home, but it's a necessary inconvenience as they continue to work. He said they don't have the manpower to clear out every driveway in the city after plows go through again, unfortunately.

  • Woonsocket Area Career & Techncial Center (WACTC) - Open House scheduled for 1 p.m. is canceled today.
  • Mount St. Charles - Events scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 10 - the 7th Grade Communion Breakfast and the Accepted Students & Parents Day - have been postponed. New dates for both events will be announced soon.
English first February 12, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Many schools were not in session because of snow on flat roof buildings.
Steve February 12, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Statement: Lambert said the situation was understandable given the city's troubled finances and the millions of dollars required to replace trucks. Millions of dollars to replace the trucks? http://www.commercialtrucktrader.com/find/listing/2007-INTERNATIONAL-4300-97163357 These type of trucks available at this price are a dime a dozen! Throw a plow and sander that you have in the DPW lot on it and you're good to go........ Again Rick, do some homework before making a statement like that. Spend some of your multi-million DPW budget on something the really matters in a city that actually has a WINTER!
Sly February 12, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Do we even have a City Council.Oh yah that's right.They couldn't make any decision to cut out waste. So its the BC.I still say the ties they wear are just to tight.We can't call them names they cry on the radio.Preventive Maintenance is one of many things the coucil does not comprehend.Words are to big.The problem is all upstairs and the person sitting in the Council Presidents seat.Farmville is calling both.Does it snow there?
Konrad Jenkins February 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM
My first winter after I moved to the snow, it was a huge culture shock, for sure. I have alot of respect for the men and women that brave the storms and help clear the roads. They are a welcome sight during and after the worst of snow storms. Konrad Jenkins | http://www.palmchevy.com/VehicleSearchResults?search=new
Aaron Carter May 06, 2014 at 10:14 AM
This is when you need a truck. I moved back east with my truck before the freeze and was just plowing through the snow while others struggled. Of course I helped little old ladies when they needed it. Aaron Carter | http://www.hottrucks.com/inventory/trucks/

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