The first snow of the year didn’t deliver piles of snow, but carried on for much longer than anyone expected – and ended up depositing at least 6 inches of snow in Charlestown, which was enough to close the public schools on Tuesday.
Mayor Martin Walsh held a press conference on Monday in regards to the storm and how it was actually coming in two phases and expected to become a significant snow event by the end of Tuesday – which it did as flurries continued into the evening.
In Charlestown, the Boston Public Works’ Michael Brohel, as well as Norman Parks and Danny Nee, oversee contractor GTA for snowstorms.
GTA owner Greg Antonelli said Mayor Walsh, Brohel and his crew are vigilant in getting the necessary equipment to take care of the streets and hills.
“Under the direction of Michael Brohel, the City is always ready to call in the right equipment, not afraid to make sure each street in each district of Boston fills their needs and requests,” he said. “The mayor also never misses a beat in getting ahead of a storm. Making sure there is a commitment to the business and residents in Charlestown is his first priority to the streets are accessible and safe…The reason it’s a good product is it’s a good combination between the City of Boston folks and GTA’s employees.”
He said this was a difficult storm in that the duration was long and drawn out.
“The most complex part of this storm was that it was a long, drawn-out snowstorm for the amount of snow that we got,” he said. “We had people starting out at 2 p.m. on Monday and they finished at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. It was a long duration storm with about 6 to 7 inches…It’s a pretty fast and early start to what is going to be a long drawn out snow season. You don’t expect it, but it’s here.”
Sunday night into Monday morning, the City of Boston received one inch of snow in coastal neighborhoods to almost 4.5 inches of snow in West Roxbury and Brighton. The Public Works Department had 320 equipment pieces working the roads Sunday night, and had more than 650 pieces of equipment ready for the height of the storm Monday night and into Tuesday morning. The Public Works Department had 48,000 tons of salt on hand, including 3,000 tons that were delivered Monday to replenish the stock.
Antonelli said they devoted 20 plow and sander combo trucks to the Town, as well as bobcats for the dead end streets and tight streets.
Charlestown, he said, has its challenges when it comes to plowing.
“The hills, tight streets and dead ends are the biggest challenges in Charlestown and you need compact trucks and sanders to get in there,” he said. “You need bobcats to get to places a truck cannot get.”While snow started for everyone in Charlestown this week, Antonelli said it’s a 12-month process for his company – and one that begins to get intense in August.
“For GTA, snow is a 12-month business,” he said.