A Winter Storm drops about an inch of snow per hour overnight and now hovering over the North Country with another 4 to 8 inches expected through the day today, we’ve taken the opportunity to ask Saranac Lake’s new Public Works Superintendent about what it takes to deal with a snow event like this. Interestingly, there are some municipalities who are paid by the state to keep the state roads clear of snow but the Village of Saranac Lake isn’t one of those municipalities so the State Roads are handled by the state and the village roads are handled by the village – which means you may notice a difference between the two –
Jeff Dora is Superintendent of Public Works in Saranac Lake, he says Saranac Lake uses a mixture of salt and sand which is housed in a giant brown building next to the Village Garage.. One of the benefits of a covered salt / sand mixture is that the ratio doesn’t change with the weather so there’s no wasted salt in the pile.. the housing protects it from dissolving and thus one mix is all it takes.. Needless to say there’s a lot of basic planning required heading into the winter months..
Jeff says there’s a four am shift that’s pretty much on call and has been through the overnight hours. It very similar to the snow over the weekend, with four staffers on call and with a few inches of snow falling, a call from Saranac Lake’s Police gets the crew out and boom, again that afternoon, some lake effect snow needs to be cleared off – and Dora says it’s just another day in the Adirondacks. The Vehicle Garage is full of equipment, including the plow trucks, actually, the new Fire Department Tower, Ladder truck is stored in there as well – it’s a pretty big garage as garages go.. and one of the plows is parked in the next bay patiently waiting for more snow..
The Cat’s Meow doesn’t do this vehicle justice.. First of all it’s huge.. Double rear axles, the door to get in the drivers side is above my head, theirs room for 8 tons of sand and salt mixture and the plow, well the plow can handle more than a foot at a time anyhow.. Oh and did I mention it’s all controlled from the comfort of the driver’s console..
Listen to the interview for more..