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Rochester Hills

January 23, 2013

Rochester Hills is prepared for snow

By Linda Shepard
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER HILLS — Each snowstorm varies from the one before.

“Every winter storm is characterized differently by a unique combination of temperatures, precipitation, duration and intensity of storm events,” said Rochester Hills Department of Public Services Director Allan Schneck. “Wind plays a role and how it pushes the snow around.”

The Department of Public Services is responsible for snow and ice control on 242 miles of local roads and 38 miles of major roads in the city. The drivers of 16 plow trucks, two road graders and 14 pickup trucks provide a safe roadway system during the winter months through road-maintenance services.

“The average seniority of our plow drivers is over 20 years, and routes typically stay with drivers,” Schneck said during a Jan. 14 winter operations presentation to the Rochester Hills City Council. “The city is broken into six routes. We don’t put different drivers in different routes based on different events, so (drivers) are very knowledgeable about the routes they are responsible for.” 

Schneck said pickup trucks are used for subdivision entrances and culs-de-sac: “The tighter-type areas we have to get into,” he said. “The plow trucks, we try to keep them rolling along to maximize their efforts.”

Snowstorms are categorized by severity level for city response. Category one addresses snowfall of fewer than 4 inches.  For that, major roads and emergency routes are plowed and salted on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week.

A category-two storm includes snowfall of 4 inches or more. Major roads, emergency routes and local roads are plowed and salted on an as-needed basis 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Six plow routes begin on the east and west edges of the city and progress toward the city center.

Residents are asked to move cars and vehicles off streets during snowstorms to accommodate plows. Snow removed from driveways should not be placed in the street. “(That) doesn’t help us out,” Schneck said. “Push the snow onto either side of driveways.”

He urged drivers to allow themselves enough time to travel during storms. “Be patient,” he said. “We have crews out doing a job to make our travels easier.”

Rochester Hills City Council President Gregg Hooper thanked Schneck for the presentation.

“You did a fine job on the last snow event,” Hooper said. “Hopefully, we will have more. I like snow. I am a winter kind of guy.”

For more information about city snow and ice removal, visit www.rochesterhills.org or call (248) 656-4685.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Linda Shepard at lshepard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1065.