Making Adjustments During A Winter Storm

Larger sites and bigger clients should be assured that there will be a constant presence during a storm. When the snow stops flying, crews still need to relocate snow, treat refreezes and clean up areas that were a lower priority.

“We have storm action plans for most of our big sites,” says Tom Canete, president and CEO of Canete Snow Management in New Jersey. The plans are included in binders placed in the vehicles that go out to each site, and they include maps showing where to put the snow, the location of catch basins and perimeters, hot points such as priority sidewalk spots and storefronts, as well as secondary spots. During a storm, it’s important to know which places need to be kept clear and which can wait until after the snow stops.

While the goal is always to stick to those plans, adjustments often have to be made during storms. “It depends on the time of the storm (when it hits), the type of snow (wet or fluffy), the duration of the storm, and sometimes the temperature — particularly on the backside. So we have something written, but we like to say it’s written in pencil,” Canete says.

The Service Innovators’ Tim Gibbons says the goal during a storm is usually to keep a site open and accessible, and sometimes that requires taking a triage approach and refocusing the normal snow management plan.

“We may alter the stacking locations. We’ll work on the critical areas: the handicap parking spots, the main entrances, the entrance and exit driveways. We’ll focus on the areas most in need of attention,” he says.

And while the goal on a normal plow is to touch snow only once, for the sake of expediency during storms, “We may come up with an interim pile zone just to make the runs shorter, rather than taking snow to the most remote corner.” Then, once the storm has wrapped up, there will be time to move all the snow and clean everything up.

Changing the plan and making adjustments in the middle of a snow storm can be more efficient for the crew.