Islip Town has 200 snow removal and sand spreading vehicles prepped and another 200 contractors on call for the impending ‘Hercules’ blizzard set to hit late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
The town’s storm response workforce numbers well over 400 and its emergency operations center, at Town Hall West in Islip, opened at 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
“We have been preparing for the last few days. The significant event [of this storm] will be the high winds and we’ve got 75 chain saws ready to help clear streets of downed trees,” Town Councilman Anthony Senft told Patch in a phone interview Thursday afternoon.
Storm forecasters have predicted winds of 15 to 20 mph, and gusts of 50 mph winds hitting during the storm.
Town workers began treating streets earlier this week, by spreading sand, salt and a brine treatment, which is a mix of chemicals, salt and water, according to Senft.
“We started that on Tuesday along the major roads and emergency evaluate routes,” he said.
The operations center will be fully staffed on a 24x7 basis beginning Thursday evening, with a representative from every town department, as well as representatives of cooperative emergency agencies including the police, county emergency division and utilities companies including PSEG, the former LIPA company.
“The center helps us manage the storm and our response. We’ve got maps depicting all the streets and by having a representative of very department we can easily communicate and respond as quickly as possible to events,” said Senft, adding the collaborative environment lets the town reallocate resources on the fly as needed.
The town is urging residents to stay off the roads during the storm, park vehicles in driveways and to make sure street hydrants are cleared of snow during and after the storm.
In a press release issued Thursday the town also stated vehicles
may be ticketed and towed if found parked on town roadways while plowing
activity is happening. The release also requested residents to remove portable
basketball hoops from the street and to mark Belgium block curbing with wooden
or plastic stakes to limit accidental damage by plows.
Residents can call 595-3595 or 224-5600 for storm-related questions and to make reports of downed trees or power lines. Power outages should be reported to PSEG (formerly LIPA) by calling 631-755-6900 or visiting the utility’s website.