Snow removal crews face staff shortages during winter storm

Crews have had to wear multiple hats.
Snow removal crews face staffing shortages during winter storm
Crews have had to wear multiple hats.(Janay Reece)
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 5:30 PM EST
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - Conditions across the New River Valley changed hourly Monday, keeping road crews on their toes.

“All of our trucks deployed around 6:00a on routes-- it becomes plowed around 7:30a--- 8 o’clock, and we continued on to the primary routes as we always do until they’re open and clear to make the town passable,” said Jim Lancianese, the director of Christiansburg Public Works.

But removal crews in Christiansburg say the snow wasn’t their biggest challenge, it was staffing shortages.

“Currently right about 23 positions vacant and then dealing with, you know, people with the COVID and then just being sick with this time of year, it’s a struggle, but we’ve done a pretty good job that cross-training all of our staff,” said Lancianese.

The public works director says his crews have had to wear multiple hats, everyone chipping in on snow removal efforts.

“We’ve handled it pretty well---and made a really good team effort to allow us to continue, you know, servicing the town and removing the snow efficiently,” said Lancianese.

He says crews got a lot of work done. But as winter continues, they say all they can do is take the weather as it comes and stay ready.

“And we lay out a plan of action for every event and everyone’s brought in and understands their role, and we deal with it that way,” said Lancianese.

The public works director reminds drivers to be cautious when driving behind snowplows. He says drivers should stay at least 100 feet behind a plow.

Lancianese also thanks his entire staff for all their hard work.

If you’re interested in working for Christiansburg Public Works, you can learn more by visiting the town’s website.

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