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Officials' Monday update: DPW crews 'up to challenge' as storm cleanup continues

Published 2:05 pm, Monday, February 11, 2013
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As cleanup of 2 to 3 feet of snow dumped on town last weekend continued Monday, top town officials said they were pleased with public works and emergency services response to the wintry deluge.

"The storm was a real challenge, but our crews were up to it," First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said in an email Monday. "Residents generally were very understanding. However, as is always the case, some roads were not plowed until later in the event and some people voiced their frustrations. You only have to look at one or two municipalities to the east to see how well off we were in our cleanup efforts."

After working continuously since 7 a.m. Friday, public works crews had cleared all Westport roads maintained by the town by 1 a.m. Sunday, according to Public Works Director Steve Edwards.

"This was probably the heaviest snow storm, since I've been here," Edwards said Monday. "I'm extremely proud of how my guys worked. They worked straight around the clock and they did a fantastic job."

Plowing work has been facilitated by the lack of downed power lines and felled trees, in contrast to the widespread damage inflicted last year by Superstorm Sandy. A tree toppled onto power lines on Iris Lane in the Greens Farms section of town, the only major incident of infrastructure damage caused by the storm, according to Edwards.

Public works personnel as of Monday focused on improving sight lines obstructed by snow at traffic intersections and clearing sidewalks. But removing all snow from sidewalks could take several weeks, he added.

Edwards also reported that the storm dumped varying amounts of snow on different parts of town. While the western half of town got about 24 inches of snow, the eastern half accumulated about 30 inches. The cause of that snowfall disparity is not yet known, he said.

Fire officials, meanwhile, have so far reported only one major storm-related injury: a man who got his hand caught Friday night in a snow blower and required treatment at Norwalk Hospital.