Rockland County Executive Ed Day
January 27, 2016
Jonas, the Blizzard of 2016, will certainly be remembered as a major winter event, if not one of New York’s all-time snowstorms.
Thanks to the efforts of plow drivers, law enforcement, first responders, health care workers, utility crews and state and local leaders, it will also be remembered as a model of municipal response.
On behalf of all 320,000 local residents, I commend the workforce of Rockland County on their exemplary performance during and after the storm. The week started with a forecast for three to six inches, but ended with some areas of the County realizing nearly two feet of snowfall on Saturday night.
Governor Cuomo placed Rockland County under a declared State of Emergency during the peak of the storm to allow county, town and village highway crews and emergency services teams to deal with the demands of the snowfall unimpeded by stranded drivers. The Rockland County Highway Department had about 60 employees involved in snow removal during the storm, hitting the streets at 5:30 on Saturday morning. As a result, crews were able to keep main roads clear even as snow fell at the rate of several inches an hour.
On Sunday, as the storm fully faded and the sun rose, that work continued. While our residents and business owners were dealing with snow removal from their own properties, our road crews were working overtime to make certain all County roads were virtually snow-free. This was certainly no small accomplishment in the face of whiteout conditions, sub-freezing temperatures and three-foot snow drifts. Frankly, the condition of Rockland County’s roads by Sunday were second to none in the Tri-State Area!
The New York City media loves to dramatize weather events. Was it a snowstorm, a blizzard, or Jonas? Whatever it was called, our dedicated employees reported for duty, worked numerous hours straight, unselfishly, for the people of Rockland County. I recognize that they are well trained and seasoned for such expectations, but I also recognize that Rockland County was coordinated, prepared and responded to the storm like precision clockwork.
With springtime still weeks away, there’s bound to be more snow in the coming days, meaning more hard work and long hours for those tasked with keeping our roads and neighborhoods clear and safe. We extend our thanks and appreciation to them, and we applaud our communities for working together, hunkering down and getting through what Mother Nature sent our way. With any luck, the worst has passed.