To some, the 8 inches of snow that fell on the Milford area over Christmas Break was beautiful. To those who had to clean it up, it was quite another story. With just four large plow trucks, roughly 50 miles of roads and a minimal workforce the City of Milford crews had a daunting task in front of them. Brad Dennehy, Director of Public Works, expresses his gratitude for the crews who removed the snow so that Milford could function as a city. “We are lucky to have a lot of guys who grew up around here and they have a vested interest in what they are doing for their community,” commented Mr. Dennehy.
While most of the residents of Milford were enjoying their Christmas dinner Brad and his men were on the phone with the Emergency Operations Center in Sussex County actively monitoring the weather and coordinating with state level authorities. During a storm of this nature DELDOT is responsible for the roads but the City of Milford is in charge of making sure not only the roads are clear but the utilities are functioning properly. Their major concerns in addition to the clearing of roads were keeping residents’ electric on, wells pumping and sewer running properly.
The main priority during a level 1 State of Emergency is making sure that the main roads into the city are cleared and accessible to residents. The routes to the hospital, police station and city offices must be functional for the safety of the city. After those facilities are available, residential areas become priority to ensure that residents can access the roads. “Trust me we are not out there driving aimlessly plowing snow. There is a plan and I think we executed that plan well,” stated Mr. Dennehy.
During the last snow storm wind gusts became a major obstacle for clearing the roads. Still, with the high winds and heavy snowfall there was no power outages in the city of Milford due to the storm. Mr. Dennehy explained that this was accomplished because of preventative maintenance by city workers.
Working 40 plus hours in the three days following the storm become the standard for those working to clear the roads and secure city utilities. “Our guys will work tirelessly. They have a lot of pride in what they do,” commented Mr. Dennehy. Even after the main roads were clear city workers used snow blowers and shovels to dig out central walkways and sidewalks around town.
With future storm systems developing out West, more snowfall is predicted to hit the Mid-Atlantic region this winter. Brad Dennehy and the work crews are currently preparing themselves for any further snow accumulation this season.