Mayor responds to complaints about snow clearing delays

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Crews are still trying to clear streets. Many of our viewers have reported a marked difference in road conditions between the counties and Richmond. With more snow in the forecast, Mayor Dwight Jones detailed plans for the how the city will try to do better for the next storm.

Looking at many Richmond neighborhood roads, you may think a storm blew through yesterday. That's because the prediction Donna Thrift made when the snow began to fall, is coming true.

"That it was going to stay here for quite a while," she said of the snow on her street.

It's been almost three days since the last flake hit the ground and there's not a plow in sight.

"It's quite dangerous. Absolutely you gotta be very careful," said Wade Thrift.

Sometimes the plows drivers do see don't have their blades down. They're driving on snow covered roads, and not clearing a thing. It's a concern we brought to the mayor's administration.

"If they're turning around, coming from a break or going to get sand or on somebody else's route, generally they don't have to have their blades down. I think Mike would like them to always have their blades down and we will work on that," said city Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall.

Mayor Jones cited personnel and equipment cutbacks made a few years ago that may have made sense at the time, but in a year with heavy snow fall, those decisions are coming back to haunt the city.

So now, a new plan of action is necessary. The city is making some emergency plow and spreader purchases, hiring contractors, starting to attack the snow after two inches have fallen instead of waiting for a three inch accumulation and considering snow emergency routes to avoid the obstacle of parked cars.

For now, like many Richmonders, the Thrifts wonder if more snow will fall before a plow ever gets to their neighborhood.

"It's just very difficult circumstances to live through," said Wade Thrift.

The city CAO estimated the cost of these new initiatives to be about $200,000. Those funds will come from money left over from finished projects. We are still awaiting a final figure on the cleanup costs of Saturday's storm.

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