Hartford area leaders navigate impending snow clean-up amid staff shortages


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — City leaders in the Hartford area are letting people know Friday morning could bring a rough commute.

The morning rush-hour storm combined with COVID-related outages is creating a flurry of problems.

“I don’t think there’s any workforce anywhere that is not affected by this COVID surge right now, and at the last count we had about 30 members of our DPW team, that is about 15% of our team, who are out. But I know the rest of our team is ready to step up,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

The Capital city canceled school for Friday and put into effect a 24-hour parking ban starting at midnight.

In New Britain, drivers reported in around 10 p.m. Thursday so they could get ahead of the storm before flakes started to fly. That is important because the mayor said there has been a shortage of plow drivers in the city and some of the drivers are behind the wheel for the first time. They need to get used to the job.

“Remember, the first snow of the season, the first event is always rough, because our drivers, some of them are brand new, they are getting used to their routes, they are just learning and getting into the swing of things. So my advice to everyone is please stay off the roads if you don’t have to be there, have patience,” said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.

New Britain also canceled school for Friday and issued a parking ban starting at midnight. The mayor is hoping that people will work from home since they are used to doing that during the pandemic.

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