BY DEAN MOSES
The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is experiencing déjà vu as they gear up for another snow storm for the second straight week.
Last Sunday, the largest nor’easter since 2016 battered New York City, leaving sanitation employees, business owners, and residents alike to carve their way from under a blanket of snow. Now the DSNY are at it again with up to half a foot of snow expected to fall upon New York City this Sunday.
Although the icy, blackened snow from last week’s storm can still be found peppered throughout the city streets, Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson and his workforce have begun preparing shovels and manning salt spreaders in order to spread grit for another wave.
During a conference on Feb. 6 at the 336 Spring St. Salt Shed in Lower Manhattan, Sanitation Commissioner Grayson and Deanne Criswell, commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department, announced that the DSNY is again hard at work preparing for an additional 6 to 10 inches of snow expected to arrive Sunday.
“As you can see, Mother Nature has decided to grace us with another snowstorm so quickly after the last one. Right now, what we know is there is a winter snowstorm warning that is in effect starting at 6 a.m. tomorrow through 9 p.m. tomorrow,” Criswell said, advising that the storm will be at its peak between 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday.
The scene at the Spring Street Salt Shed mirrored that of last weekend, with loaders transporting mountains of salt into spreading vehicles. This showcase is intended to put minds at ease. Although the storms are only one week apart, employees at DSNY haven’t stopped working. Thankfully, this Sunday’s storm isn’t expected to be as harsh as the last one.
Still, Grayson says he isn’t taking any chances.
“The men and women in the Department of Sanitation stand ready to respond to this storm. Back-to-back storms are something we train for,” Grayson said, assuring that they have a fleet of over 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, along with 450 mechanical brooms and 705 salt spreaders ready to combat Sunday’s storm.
“We expect the conditions especially in the morning and into the afternoon to be pretty bad. Snow can be coming down an inch an hour at times,” Grayson added.
In preparation for Sunday, Grayson shared that DSNY will be salting the streets prior to the snowfall, and that over 2,000 personnel will be working to battle the storm. Earlier this week, the department has been operating in various boroughs with snow melters. However, the use of these machines will be put on hold while there is active snowfall. Grayson says that the snow melters should resume service on Monday.
It was also announced that on Sunday roadway dining and open streets will be suspended while the tow truck task force will be on standby. Grayson states that alternate side parking will be suspended from Monday through Wednesday and refuse pickup will be delayed once again.
Both Criswell and Grayson are well aware that the storm is predicted to hit on Super Bowl Sunday, and although this is a family pastime, he encourages everyone to stay off the roadways.
“The safety of New Yorkers is our number one priority, so we encourage everybody again, while this isn’t as much snow as we saw last weekend, we still strongly encourage you to stay off the roads if you don’t need to. We need to be able to let sanitation and first responders do the work that they need,” Criswell said.
This story first appeared on amny.com.