Snow Emergencies and Keeping Streets Clean
GOLF MANOR (2/17/2021) — Submitted by Andy Lanser, Assistant Administrator
My name is Andy Lanser, and I am the Assistant Administrator for the Village of Golf Manor. As part of my responsibilities I manage the Village’s public works operations, including winter snow and ice removal. I report to Village Administrator Ron Hirth.
We have just completed a run of challenging winter weather days, the likes of which we’ve not seen for several years. Road conditions were less than ideal throughout Greater Cincinnati, and unfortunately some spots in the Village. Hamilton County, including the Village, alternated between level 1 and level 2 snow emergencies for an extended 36-hour plus period starting Sunday night.
Although we hoped that this would not be the case, often despite our best planning and efforts, Mother Nature had different plans in store for us. Planning for this winter event began last week and continues to this moment as there is a chance for more bad weather later in the week.
Relying on forecasts, we initially planned a snow removal operation based upon the predicted 12’’ of snow. When the actual weather came in we received ice. As a result our operations had to change. In many ways snow removal is simpler and more efficient than ice removal and we can allocate plow and salting resources more efficiently.
The ice required our focus to shift to ensuring that the main commuter and essential services roads of Losantiville and Wiehe be passable at all times. Although always a priority during winter events, during an ice event it is extremely important that our police, fire and EMS services, based on Wiehe Road, have the ability to move freely throughout the Village in the case of an emergency.
It is only when our snow plow operators believe that those roads are passable that they then move out to clear other streets and roads in the Village. In this environment unfortunately, residential areas have a lesser priority. Again, this isn’t to say that they don’t get cleared – they do – just not as quickly as the snow emergency route streets.
With that said, I can assure you every road and street in the Village was touched by our operations multiple times over the last several days. Further complicating matters was the depth of the ice that fell (one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch in spots) and a lingering temperature of less than 20 degrees throughout the day on Tuesday. Salt is not effective at that temperature. Thankfully we did see some sun which helped warm the pavement, but we will have very low temperatures the rest of the week. There will continue to be some ice left out there, so please be aware and drive carefully.
Our public works operation consists of 5 employees, two full-time and three part-time. Joe Farthing is our maintenance lead, Jason Kerth is our maintenance associate and our part-time staff includes Andy McGinnis, Aidan Matala and Brian Timmers. Our crew worked around the clock from Sunday evening through mid-afternoon Tuesday. They are back out today touching up problem spots and preparing for the next possible storm.
We can’t guarantee perfect when Mother Nature is throwing curve balls at us, but we do strive to ensure safety and keep things as tidy as we can. It’s also important for residents to listen to media reports and be aware when travel advisories are posted. Level 3 snow emergencies require that vehicles be removed from Losantiville and Wiehe. We didn’t get there this time and hopefully that won’t happen any time soon.
When you hear it is going to snow, best practice is to park in your driveway and remove vehicles from the street to allow us to clean the entire street curb to curb. It’s also important to note that plowing the street may result in snow and ice blowing back up on your sidewalk. We will do our best to avoid that, but remember our first priority is keeping the street clear for travel.
As much as we would prefer that our roads and streets be 100% clear at all times, often the weather dictates that despite our best efforts. I can promise every resident that we will work around the clock no matter how long it takes to ensure that the roads and streets of the Village are passable.
Please make sure you check out our winter road maintenance information here.