Operations

Northeast Fleets Gear Up for Winter Storm Stella

March 15, 2017

Photo via Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation
Photo via Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation

Agencies across the Northeast U.S. deployed their fleets to respond to the heavy snow and winds of Winter Storm Stella, which hit Tuesday.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey assured passengers that it was prepared for the storm, with hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at its airports and dozens of pieces of snow equipment at bridges and tunnels, including including melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow per hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph.

The agency also reported having thousands of tons of salt and sand, hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals to prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, and thousands of tons of solid de-icers to break up snow and ice already on the ground.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy declared a state of emergency on Monday in preparation of the storm. The state fleet deployed its entire snow plow fleet to help clear roads.

The state was hit with about 18 inches of snow, according to the Hartford Courant. Early Wednesday morning, Gov. Malloy announced that all state employees should report to work as scheduled, but warned residents to stay cautious. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Monday that the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) had 4,800 equipment operators, 49 snow blowers, and more than 2,000 plow trucks ready for around-the-clock duty beginning Monday evening to keep roadways passable. 

The City of Rome, N.Y., expected about a foot of snow. Before it hit, the city's Public Works Department went through its fleet of plow trucks to ensure all maintenance was up to date, according to the Rome Sentinel. After the storm, the Sentinel reported that the city was hit with nearly two feet of snow, and crews spent about 12 straight hours plowing on Tuesday, with a smaller shift taking on the task overnight. 

The City of Schenectady, N.Y., used this storm as an opportunity to test a new GPS system for plows, reports the Times Union. GPS tracking devices were installed on 70 city vehicles, including 20 snow plows. The city also got assistance from three private contractors to clear roads. 

New York City's Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issued a snow alert on Monday, which allowed it to begin loading salt spreaders, attaching plows, preparing tire chains, and notifying other city agencies and supplementary personnel as needed. DSNY maintains 689 salt spreaders and 1,600 snow plows. It also stocked up on 283,000 tons of salt, reports the Brooklyn Paper.

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