‘Ready to roll’: Waterbury city crews prepping for possible weekend snow

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — In Waterbury, they battle snowstorms and handle snow removal from the main streets utilizing the city’s fleet of garbage trucks within The Department of Public Works.

That is why Friday was busy. Crews spent a good chunk of the day attaching plows to the fleet of trucks and making sure everything was working properly before those trucks hit the streets tomorrow.

“Once I get in this vehicle, this vehicle should be tip top and everything should be straight,” said truck driver, Jerry Greene. “We have a great team.”

And it took teamwork to check the chains, see if the hazard lights were working, and the newly-attached plows were moving like they should.

Jerry’s co-worker, Edison Martinez, was one of the guys making sure his truck was good to go.

“It’s pretty exhausting, but we get it done,” Martinez said. “We do it so we don’t have to pull out the trucks from doing their jobs out there on the streets.”

The job of snow removal prep is different this year, thanks to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 changed a lot of things — the way we operate on a daily basis,” said Mark Lombardo, Deputy Director of Waterbury’s Department of Public Works.

Changes include face masks and gloves and drivers like Jerry have to go it alone in their trucks.

“So, that helps us with the social distancing,” said Lombardo.

They also have stockpiled a huge sand and salt collection — some of which will be used to spread over the city’s 300 miles of hilly, centerline roadway.

“We use a four-to-one mix of sand and salt to pretreat some of the toughest terrain we have in Waterbury,” said Ryan Geary.

Saturday will be all hands on deck for the department. That means 40 city trucks plus private contractors if the storm gets bad. With COVID-19 hitting many people hard financially this year, drivers tell News 8 they would not mind working the possible longer, weekend overtime hours this storm may require.

“I’m blessed to be able to work,” said Greene. “Ready to roll.”

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