Nearly a month before the first flurry wiggled its way into the busy by-ways of the metropolitan area, Hudson County officials presented their snow removal plan during a tour of the county’s garage.
The plan, which was prepared by Mariano Vega, director of Hudson County’s Department of Public Resources, outlines an aggressive and strategic approach to removing snow from county roads, bridges, parks, county building areas and county parking lot.
"Although we’ve had unusually warm weather for this time of year, it is vital that we have a plan in place to help us overcome any severe snowstorm that may overwhelm us during the winter season," said Hudson County Executive Bernard M. Hartnett, Jr.
The Public Resources Department and its Division of Buildings and Grounds, Road and Bridges and Parks will be responsible for plowing and removal of snow on Hudson County Property, and the plan sets out specific levels of operations depending on the severity of the snowstorm.
During the first phase of a storm – three inches of snow or less – county personnel will prepare plowing equipment, load salt-spreader trucks and notify essential personnel. If the storm drops four to eight inches of snow, county personnel will schedule extended working hours for snow emergency staff. In the case of a severe snowstorm – eight to 16 inches – county officials would take more aggressive measures as well as organizing all commercially licensed volunteers to transport snow emergency staff and medical personnel if necessary.
A snowstorm of 17 inches or more would authorize county personnel to coordinate with private snow blower and snow removal companies.
More than 24 inches of snow on the ground would constitute a snow emergency – as declared by the Public Resources Director or the Director of Hudson County Emergency Management – and would authorize even more aggressive measures from using emergency management personnel to bringing in the state National Guard.
"This snow plan provides the county with a step-by-step guide on what to do to help us remove snow and ice from roads, ramps, walks, steps and parking lots, ensuring safe passage through all our county properties," Vega said.