Lessons Learned after Blizzard

New Haven is looking ahead to the next storm.

By Josh Chapin
|  Friday, Feb 15, 2013  |  Updated 7:30 AM EDT
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New Haven says while there was too much snow, it might need to better equip themselves for the next go around.

New Haven says while there was too much snow, it might need to better equip themselves for the next go around.

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Officials from the City of New Haven said they have work to do to improve their response before the next big storm.

City officials are reviewing the response as dump trucks and payloaders continued to remove snow from the Fair Haven section of the city and brought it to three different dump sites on Thursday.

"I think, with the amount of snow we got this storm, there was no way they could handle it on their own. It takes a team effort," said Fred Massaro, a supervisor at Laydon Industries.

Contractors moved in to clear the streets of snow once the blizzard started and Massaro began a 12-hour shift at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

"There is still quite a bit of snow out there. More than I've seen," Massaro said as he led the charge to move snow on Middletown Avenue.

Alderman Justin Elicker feels the city's procedures were not as clear as they could have been. Elicker believes the city could have reached out to its residents, not just through robo calls but also through text messages, social media and even going door to door.

"Look, it's 34 inches in a very short period of time, so the city understandably wasn't prepared to deal with that much snow," said Elicker, who represents the East Rock section of New Haven.

When asked what grade he'd give the city, he said, "To be determined. I'll give them a grade the next time we have this type of storm."

Rob Smuts, New Haven's Chief Administrative Officer, said it might be time to look at better equipment for the region and that the issue of climate change is not a small one.

"There are always little things we can do better, but not much would have changed," Smuts said. "Thirty-four inches is the most New Haven has had in over 100 years. The amount we had in a two-hour period was more than our plows could handle."

New Haven had planned to tow cars the night the blizzard started, but instead had to use those trucks to free nine fire engines and 15 ambulances that got stuck in the snow. It's just another lesson the city hopes to prevent in the future.

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