Storm severe, but problems minimal
The drifts piled up as high as the gazebo in Garden City. Schools were cancelled for two days and the city was basically shut down last Thursday as the snowstorm brought over a foot of snow to the area.
But officials across Cranston say that the problems caused by the cold storm were minimal.
“All things being considered, the city did a good job cleaning up the storm,” said Council President Michael Farina.
Farina praised the work of city and the Department of Public Works, saying that the responses he got from constituents were positive overall and he saw that “historically neglected” areas were taken care of during this storm.
The one complaint he got from Cranston residents was that the sidewalks in front of three of the schools in the city weren’t done a second time, so students may have had trouble walking to class Monday morning. He talked to the school administration about this, he said, and it was taken care of as of Monday afternoon. Other than that, he commended the city for how well they did responding to a storm of this magnitude.
“It’s pretty impressive what the city did,” he said. “With such a big storm, they started early Thursday morning and ran for twenty four hours before they got a break.”
Mayor Allan Fung added in an email that the crews “did a phenomenal job battling tough conditions to keep our roads safe throughout the entire storm.”
He also thanked the residents for “heeding the warnings and staying home and off the roads.”
Director of Public Works Ken Mason said that the last of the snowplows during the “full-blown snowplow operation” came back around 2 a.m. on Friday after being out all day clearing the roads.
Then, over the weekend, he said trucks were back out “several times” sanding and salting the road as well as clearing out drifts that were created from the wind.
Major Todd Patalano, second in command at the Cranston Police Department, attested to the job the city did in clearing off the roads, helping keep vehicles that did go out safe.
“There was no increase in accidents,” he said. “People heeded the warnings to stay off the road and that made our job easier. The city did a phenomenal job in plowing the streets, and that helped us to keep anybody who decided to use their vehicles safe.”
Meanwhile, the Fire Department also managed to get through the storm with no major issues, according to Chief William McKenna. The fire that burned down a barn on Seven Mile Road on Sunday morning was tough to combat because of the cold weather, but he said that they “managed to get through.”
“Our first responders were also very busy as the city dug out from the storm, responding to reports of frozen pipes, fires and other incidents associated with the record cold,” Mayor Fung wrote. “As we look ahead, our crews are out this week clearing storm drains and removing snow from areas prone to flooding with warmer temperatures and heavy rain in the forecast.”