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Blizzard 2013: Woonsocket Mopping Up After "Overwhelming Response" To Plow Callout

Roads remain narrow as DPW turns to widening, sanding operations.

UPDATE, 2:12 p.m. : Mount St. Charles is closed Monday. Accepted students day is postponed.

UPDATE, 2 p.m. : Woonsocket Public Schools are canceled Monday and Tuesday, no activities.

Highway Director Rick Lambert reports the city's streets are cleared, thanks to the help of an "overwhelming response" to the city's call for plows during the Blizzard of 2013.

"It was outstanding and well-appreciated," Lambert said. Unfortunately, they didn't get the big six-wheel trucks they'd been hoping for, so while the roads are clear, most are still pretty narrow.

Lambert said 17 local pickup truck plows responded to Chief Gary Lataille's plea for help clearing the roads after half the city's snowplow fleet broke down.

The highway director said a combination of the age of the trucks and the unusually high amount of snow - two feet - contributed to the breakdowns. He noted the snow also took out the transmission on one contractor's relatively new truck. Lambert said the situation was understandable given the city's troubled finances and the millions of dollars required to replace trucks.  

A parking ban remains in effect for the city through 9 a.m. Monday, and police will continue to aggressively ticket and tow violators. The Governor's travel ban was lifted yesterday at 4 p.m., but one readers' report highlights the risk of unecessary travel on the narrow roads.

Woonsocket Patch reader Jonathan Hayes wrote in this morning about an accident he witnessed on Rhodes Avenue. A car driving up Rhodes got stuck in a snow bank when a second car pulled out of Friendly Nursing Home's lot.

No one was injured, according to Hayes, but the photo he sent in doesn't show much room for cars to avoid each other on the road.

Today, Lambert said the DPW road crew's objective is to widen main roads, expanding to more secondary roads and clearing some municipal parking areas. After that, a sanding operation will commence to put down some traction on the roads.

Lambert asked for residents' patience as they work to clear more snow from the streets. He said he's not a fan of getting his driveway plowed in at his own home, but it's a necessary inconvenience as they continue to work. He said they don't have the manpower to clear out every driveway in the city after plows go through again, unfortunately.

  • Woonsocket Area Career & Techncial Center (WACTC) - Open House scheduled for 1 p.m. is canceled today.
  • Mount St. Charles - Events scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 10 - the 7th Grade Communion Breakfast and the Accepted Students & Parents Day - have been postponed. New dates for both events will be announced soon.
Govstench February 11, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Municipalities are crippled to purchase equipment due to the high benefits packages that they have to shell out to municipal employees. Just look at their budget breakouts - whatever is left is used for equipment, which is scant. They are running on empty and they refuse to cut their budgets. There is plenty of wasteful spending going on in all of these municipalities.
Taxedto. Death February 11, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Dpw is a bigger mess than the roads. Friends who hire friends who hire friends and leave the taxpayer with the bill. Jobs should be taken away from from all involved let's start with the mayor and city council who collect checks and pensions and give nothing to the tax payer
Woonsocket rocket February 11, 2013 at 03:26 AM
Plow went down my street 3 times in 2 days but hasn't dropped the plow yet but is sanding over the packed down snow there is at least 12 inches of snow hip deep from the side walk into the road u can barely fit two cars down my street today the ambulance could not get a stretcher inside a guys house they had to Carry him out east school street is a cut threw for the fire dept and this road was poorly taken care of we got and alert call from the city saying they were brining in heavy equipment to clear the streets and side walks but who's side walks and what streets is the question
Anne-Marie February 11, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Really come take a look @ Newport street!!! Cuz ours isn't cleared & we have piles that are 5 ft away from the curb & @ the end of the street you can't see to get on to park ave!!
Steve February 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM
OK Rob,and I wouldn't pick you for the School paper editor either! I've read all thearticles that have to do with this subject, and it's clear that the DPW clearly didn't do their job in maintaining the equipment they have, and didn't prepare properly for the winter here in Woonsocket. Enough said, people should be fired and replaced with qualified people that can actually do the job. This city needs a performance audit at all levels of government!
Sly February 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Streets are clear what city is he living or working in.This is by far the worst ever in plowing I've ever seen.Good job Mayor your street looks good.Our we out of sand and salt to.The more we pay in taxes the less we get.Rob it is the age of the equipment I worked for highway from 79-84 they never have replaced anything it was always a mickey mouse fix,I think this was done purposely.
Diamond Hill Fake smoker February 11, 2013 at 01:12 PM
There is NOW WAY that I would consider many of the streets I traveled this morning to be sufficiently plowed. I traveled from Winter St, down North Main, onto Main (main St was pretty good), over the court st bridge (a mess!), and then onto park ave (pretty good). I traveled to Coventry, and I can easily say that Woonsockets Streets are the worst I encountered. Streets in the logee street area are also very bad!!
Nelson Aldrich February 11, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Debt service is what's important here,not plowing streets.Investors get paid (plus interest).Stop complaining everyone,at least bondholders are made whole.Snow plow types will have to wait and blown transmissions are just tough. Gotta keep that crummy bond rating up so we can borrow more in the future,debt is good people.
Steve February 11, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Has anyone heard from or gotten any updates from the Woonsocket Public Safety Director as to the state of the DPW and the conditions of the city's streets? Just wondering..........
English first February 11, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Did the Mayor or city counsel president speak directly to the taxpayers and report how they feel the plowing is going? (Are their streets plowed down to the pavement?) I saw many of the other mayors from surround towns and cities on the news. Of course nothing from Cumberland either. Cumberland is a mess. How about Lincoln?
Sly February 11, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Our Mayor should be proud,Snow removal fee tax.DO NOT PASS THAT TO THE MAYOR OR WARD,THEY WOULD BE UP FOR IT.THIS CITY STINKS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.Be careful a councilman may call the talk show to cry.We're not idiots he chants.We're just a bit slow.
Nelson Aldrich February 11, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Here's a financial update for you.From the City's website:projected debt service from now until July is nearly 9 million dollars.Somebody's getting paid,only they're the ones that'll be anonymous. Nice to know that a big chunk of your tax dollars is going to pay anonymous investors isn't it? Bonds were never intended to be risk free,but in this corrupt state creditors will always be paid (even in a "bankruptcy"). I'm not saying that investors should take a 100% loss,i'm just saying that their cards are not on the table.
Steve February 11, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Chris 12, do yourself a favor and look at the city's budget that they put forward and approved! I was mistaken, looks like they're working with a 4+ million dollar budget! Is this what you get for 4 + million dollars of tax payers funds? http://www.ci.woonsocket.ri.us/FY%202012%204th%20Quarter%20Report%20to%20State.pdf
Rose Genereux February 11, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I started to read the comments and it seems the complaints start with someone not liking the plows passing by and the snow ending up in his driveway, then go on to compalin about something the writer is privy to, but not the "point" of the article and ends up with everyone bashing their own city. Wow. Perhaps you all need to be proactive, Clean the sidewalk in front of your house. Realize snow plow drivers needs sleep and to be paid. I'm glad to say, my town is clean as a whistle. I live on a private dirt road, and even that was cleaned yesterday by a front loader. Perhaps I should have sent them to Woonsocket?
Novan for Life February 11, 2013 at 09:07 PM
WOW! nothing has changed steve still rants about anything and everything but the topic in front of him.
Nelson Aldrich February 11, 2013 at 09:44 PM
I think Steve realizes that all things are connected.A lot of people who comment in here don't.
Steve February 11, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Nice post Novan, get some facts before you start throwing stones ok? Try venturing outside Woonsocket and see what the real world looks like. You may be enlightened! Gee go figure, paying the highest property and excise taxes in the state, and all we hear is excuses why the city can even get the most basic public support jobs done? Call it a rant, yes, get ready to hear more, I expect more from our city officials and departments than just excuses! Novan, do some research into we're (I hope you're included in the we're) our tax dollars are being spent! Look at the budget and you'll see the light......
Mew February 11, 2013 at 10:02 PM
It never would of happened with Mr. Annarumo sp? He was a competant DPW director. He knew what had to be done and he got it done. this women hasn't a Clue!!! It's a wonder she know the way to her job!!
English first February 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM
I would like to know what town was clean as a whistle on February 10th ? They are all looking better today.
Rose Genereux February 12, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Chepachet
Mew February 12, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Steve! I absolutley agree with you, Novan has no clue what the hell is going on around this city!! come and pay our taxes and see if you don't complain about this storm and they way it was not plowed properly. I have lived hee all my life and have never seen it in this condition. Novan, don't make comments on things you know nothing about. Steve, keep on commenting!!!
English first February 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM
I may be mistaken but the two major roads that intersect in Chepachet are state roads. Did Chepatchet have school on Monday?
Novan for Life February 12, 2013 at 12:41 PM
i have seen how poorly things were done around (here) hee. I to have lived here my entire life but unfortunately the plowing has always been this poor. Mew you shouldn't stick your nose in other peoples conversations it's rude!
Novan for Life February 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM
actually steve i have, question is have you? i have there is no light unless a reciever comes in. Oh by the way enjoy the sound of your own voice steve my street is already down to the pavement :)
Rose Genereux February 12, 2013 at 02:35 PM
I believe you are correct "English First". But I didn't go into town. I only saw the roads up west and around the schools. They were cyrstal clean on Sunday. We did not have school on Monday, but I don't know why. Perhaps it is best to err on the side of caution.
Nelson Aldrich February 12, 2013 at 02:43 PM
I can't wait for the "reciever" and the two-thirds "bankruptcy".
English first February 12, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Many schools were not in session because of snow on flat roof buildings.
Steve February 12, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Statement: Lambert said the situation was understandable given the city's troubled finances and the millions of dollars required to replace trucks. Millions of dollars to replace the trucks? http://www.commercialtrucktrader.com/find/listing/2007-INTERNATIONAL-4300-97163357 These type of trucks available at this price are a dime a dozen! Throw a plow and sander that you have in the DPW lot on it and you're good to go........ Again Rick, do some homework before making a statement like that. Spend some of your multi-million DPW budget on something the really matters in a city that actually has a WINTER!
Sly February 12, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Do we even have a City Council.Oh yah that's right.They couldn't make any decision to cut out waste. So its the BC.I still say the ties they wear are just to tight.We can't call them names they cry on the radio.Preventive Maintenance is one of many things the coucil does not comprehend.Words are to big.The problem is all upstairs and the person sitting in the Council Presidents seat.Farmville is calling both.Does it snow there?
Konrad Jenkins February 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM
My first winter after I moved to the snow, it was a huge culture shock, for sure. I have alot of respect for the men and women that brave the storms and help clear the roads. They are a welcome sight during and after the worst of snow storms. Konrad Jenkins | http://www.palmchevy.com/VehicleSearchResults?search=new

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