As winter blankets the landscape with a layer of snow, it brings an undeniable charm to what is
often considered to be a dreary season. The sight of snow brings joy to kids, teachers, and
highway department workers, but it also can create havoc on our roads and our schedules. In
my years as Town Supervisor, I have definitely learned that the best way to be able to sit back
and enjoy the magic and beauty of falling snow is to be fully prepared for the accompanying
inconveniences and challenges that often come with it.
The most immediate impact from snow takes place on our roads. In preparation for winter
storms, under the leadership of Highway Superintendent Bob Milone, Town roads are pre-
treated with brine and all 64 plow trucks are loaded with salt before a storm hits. Two brine
trucks hold 3,000 gallons and it takes about eight hours to do the top priority routes of Main
Streets, high elevations and sharp turn roads. The brine helps prevent the roads from freezing,
which is a crucial step in keeping our residents safe.
Once the storm hits and snow begins to accumulate, our plow crews get to work clearing the
roads. During a typical storm, it takes about four hours for each of the town’s 55 plow routes to
make a complete pass. It’s a large and challenging operation, as there are 1,400 streets in the
town and 300 miles of roads to salt and plow. When salting the roads, the Highway Department
uses 500 tons of salt in a single round.
A snow storm also brings increased activity to the Clarkstown Police Department. A typical
storm results in car accidents and vehicles stuck on the roads, creating additional work and
hazards for our police officers on patrol. When a heavy storm is expected, the Clarkstown Police
Emergency Operations Center prepares to be opened if necessary. This facility serves as a
command center for town government and our utility providers. During a bad storm, it is
common to find representatives from the Police Department, Town Highway, my office, and
Orange & Rockland all encamped here to share information and help coordinate a better
response to problem areas and residents in need. The activation of the EOC center also
triggers the staffing of extra officers on duty and prepositioned in their patrol sectors to insure
Residents pay a big part in storm safety, too. Staying off the roads when possible helps keep
accidents down and keeps plow routes clear. Please remember that the town has a prohibition
against overnight on-street parking from November 15th to April 15th and on-street parking
during the day of a storm for a reason: a parked car is a huge impediment to plowing a street.
Please do you part by staying home if possible, and keeping your cars off the roads.
Once the roads are completely cleared, the Highway Department moves on to another large
and important job: clearing snow on 50 miles of sidewalks, 12 commuter lots, and 70 bus
As we move through the heart of winter, rest assured that the Town is well-prepared for
whatever snow comes our way, and keep in mind some essential tips to help you navigate the
snowy season with ease:
Stay ahead of the weather by keeping a close eye on forecasts. Knowing when snow is
expected allows you to plan accordingly, whether it’s preparing your home, adjusting travel
plans, or simply dressing appropriately.
Ensure your home is ready to face the cold. Insulate windows and doors, check your heating
system, and have emergency supplies like blankets, flashlights, and non-perishable food items
on hand. It’s better to be over-prepared than caught off guard during a snowstorm.
Invest in quality snow removal tools like a sturdy snow shovel, snow blower, or ice melt.
Clearing driveways and walkways promptly not only prevents accidents but also makes
navigating your property much easier.
If you must drive in snowy conditions, equip your vehicle with winter tires and carry essentials
like an ice scraper, blanket, and emergency kit. Drive cautiously, keep a safe distance from
other vehicles, and familiarize yourself with winter driving techniques.
Snowstorms can sometimes lead to power outages. Have a backup power source, such as a
generator, and keep essentials like batteries, candles, and a portable phone charger on hand.
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of the snow. Whether it’s building a snowman, having a
snowball fight, or simply taking a quiet walk in a snowy park, take the time to appreciate the
unique joys that winter brings. By following these essential snow tips and preparation
measures, you can make the most of the winter season while staying safe and comfortable. So,
bundle up, embrace the cold, and let the magic of snow unfold around you.