2009-03-05 / Front Page

Island highway crew rallies to face another winter storm

By Jeff McDonough

The first day of March arrived Sunday along with a slow-moving coastal storm that left the island covered in a wintery mixture of snow and sleet.

Dana Checrallah, a mechanic for the Jamestown Highway Department, said the island received about six to seven inches of snow. The snow removal crew was called in to work at about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday and worked through the night until around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, he said.

"It was a dangerous storm," Checrallah said. "Everyone worked all night into the next day. But we want everyone to know that no matter how tired we are we are always kind and courteous."

Operations went smoothly during the storm, he added. The only trouble reported were a couple of lights on snow removal equipment that had to be replaced.

The March storm was the fourth major snow event of the season.

The highway department's snow removal equipment includes two pickup trucks, five dump trucks and one utility truck. Checrallah is responsible for keeping all the equipment operating and on the road. He also fields calls from the public who have concerns about the snow plowing.

Highway Department Supervisor Kevin Deacon said the work actually began Sunday morning in preparation for the storm. That's when drivers spread a "pre-treatment" mixture of sand and salt on the island roads. "We lay enough mixture on the corners and hills to keep them from getting slippery," he explained.

Deacon had high praise for the town's snow removal crew. "The boys did a terrific job," he said.

Police Chief Tom Tighe reported that all was quiet for the police department during the snowstorm. "There were no major problems and only one minor fender bender," he said.

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