DPW makes changes to get roads clear - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

DPW makes changes to get roads clear

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The City of Richmond has had some problems getting roads cleared when a snow storm hits. Many consistently complain the streets are too dangerous and snow-covered to drive on.

The Department of Public Works says it is making changes to try to get roads cleared sooner. Ordinarily, to avoid damage to the equipment and roads, crews don't put the plows down until there's three inches of snow. For this storm, as soon as the snow measures two inches, plows will be working to try to get ahead of any big accumulation.

Despite projections of several inches of snow, Richmond's Department of Public Works is confident.

 "We're monitoring this minute by minute hour by hour," spokesperson Sharon North said. "We're really staying on top of this and watching to make sure we're able to do exactly what we need to do when we need to do it."

During the last blast of winter weather, in which we only saw a couple inches of snow, Richmonders told us they didn't see enough crews on the roads and streets didn't look as clear as in the counties.

We asked North what DPW is doing differently. She explains for this storm, it's coordinating with other city departments.

"They all have vehicles that can be equipped either with spreaders or plows or they may be used in the event that the snow is really deep that it has to be hauled away," North said.

Crews have also restocked supplies of sand and salt and converted equipment to snow-removal-mode. Extra personnel are also at the ready.

"If the snow is not as bad as they're predicting, we'll have at a minimum fifty crews out," North told us. More than likely if the snow is as bad they're saying it's going to be we'll have even more out than the fifty we're expecting."

As NBC12 first broke for you, the director of DPW is currently on unpaid leave. We wanted to know how that will affect the snow response.

"Nothing would stop us from doing what we need to do in the event that someone is not at work in our department," North maintained. "We do what we need to do."

We also checked in about the online snowplow tracker. You may remember it did not register a weather event during that last storm. North says this time, it will be up and running.

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