(CHESTER, PA) – On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 the City of Chester Emergency Management team met to discuss the City’s emergency response and continuing efforts to clear residential and secondary streets of snow and ice following the impact of Winter Storm Jonas.
Personnel from the departments of Streets and Highway, Parks, Fire, Police and Public Safety worked collectively to strategize an approach to combating the blizzard’s impact and utilizing internal and external resources.
Acting in the capacity of Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire Commissioner Travis Thomas applauded the City’s response stating that, “everyone working at the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) should be commended. I think overall we did extremely well. With the exception of three minor accidents, the City was able to focus on clearing major arteries and emergency routes during the height of the storm.” Thomas also noted that although the snow emergency was officially lifted at 8:00 pm Sunday, the clean up operation’s directional focus would be aimed at clearing residential and secondary streets moving forward.
The Emergency Operations Center became fully operational at 8:00 pm Friday evening until the suspension of all operations at 8:30 pm Sunday evening. During that time, personnel from the Department of Streets and Highway, Parks Department and outside contractor, Moore Outdoor Rejuvenation were required to work 12-hour rotational shifts and follow the command of the Emergency Management Coordinator. It was determined during a pre-planning meeting that all crews would be dispatched to the City’s emergency medical routes, snow emergency routes and primary roads to begin salting and plowing efforts during the first 24-hours. The City was able to keep 11 plow trucks, manned by nearly 30 employees on the streets throughout the weekend. The EOC was established inside of City Hall as well as a warming station at the local Boys & Girls club to assist residents.
Clean Up Operations:
Snow removal operations remain ongoing. With the deactivation of the Emergency Operations Center, crews will now work under the direction of the Director of Streets & Public Improvements. The City of Chester has compiled a list of streets still needing snow removal through an assessment from the Emergency Management Coordinator and calls from residents. Currently, all primary roads have been cleared and the City is diligently working to address concerns with secondary and residential roads.
Residents are asked to remain patient as the snow removal operations continue. In efforts to expedite the clean up process, city officials would like to remind the public that it is illegal to dump, pile, place or move snow onto a street or highway that has been cleared
Anyone needing immediate assistance is asked to contact the Department of Streets and Public Improvements at 610-447-7745.