Guest Column

Valley Stream working to overcome brutal winter


Here we are in late February, yet winter’s end is not yet in sight. Thankfully, a thaw is forecasted for this weekend, but there is little assurance that we are out of the very active pattern of storms bringing snow, sleet, freezing rain and miserably cold temperatures to our region. Valley Stream has been in the so-called “polar vortex” of extreme weather and we have really felt its sting! Mother Nature’s wrath has kept our village crews busy keeping our roads as safe as possible.

As Valley Streamers continue to push through a tough period, I thought this would be a good time to update our residents on the ways in which village government is working to ease the strain and keep up with the heavy demands of snow removal. Our professionals in Valley Stream’s departments of Public Works, Parks, Public Safety, Code Enforcement and the Fire Department all have an active role to play as bad weather is forecasted, and much attention is devoted to maintaining the safety of our residents through it all.

What our roads crews do

At our Public Works yard, vehicles are kept at the ready and staffing levels are maintained to accommodate 16-hour shifts when our fleet of plows, sanders and pay loaders are put into service. In anticipation of snow and ice, storm drains and catch basins are inspected and cleared whenever necessary. Our mechanics are on hand to address breakdowns as they occur, make the needed repairs, and get the heavy equipment back on the roads as quickly as possible.

Our crews are dispatched when the snow reaches a certain level, first to perform an initial opening of the roads, then to repeat the clearing process from curb to curb. Salt is spread on our roads to facilitate melting.

In Valley Stream, our primary concern and responsibility is for the safety of our residents and those travelling along our roadways. We apply a systematic approach to clearing our roads in priority order: main roads, school areas and firehouses take precedence, then secondary and tertiary roads, and finally our many village parking fields.

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