Page 23 - Salem Magazine Spring 2016
P. 23

Overall, the February storm caused more headaches for workers and residents than the biggest snowfall of the winter that brought things to a standstill on January 22. Just under 14 inches of snow fell in Salem that Friday and Saturday before tapering off ahead of schedule. It was a significant amount of snow, but much less than the two foot predictions that were commonplace.
“Our method of tackling every street at the same time really paid dividends with this particular storm,” says Mike Tyler, Salem Street Department Director. “With a snow of that magnitude, you can’t afford to wait until it stops to begin plowing the neighborhoods.”
Snow and ice were only part of the problem for the Salem Water Department. The up-and-down temperature swings, especially in January this year, kept crews extremely busy. In the first month of the year they repaired 30 water main breaks.
The weight of the snow and ice in February uprooted and toppled this massive tree directly onto the top of this gray car on Yorkshire Street near Northview Apartments.
Water Department Utility Lines Equipment Operator Mike Sweeney works in freezing temperatures to repair a broken water main line behind City Hall on College Alley.
Water Department’s Larado Robinson and Frank Young thank Salem Chick-fil-A Marketing Director Roberta Fike for bringing meals to their offices after the storms.
“When the temperature fluctuates around the freezing point the ground goes through freezing and thawing cycles,” says Larado Robinson, Salem Water Department Director. “This increases the external stress on the water mains in the system and causes them to break.”
Our Community
  Indiana Street where it was recycled into cut and split firewood for families in need.
  Though the average break rate this year was one per day, many of these breaks occurred in the same 24 hour period and never when it was convenient.
“The worse water leak this winter occurred on Christmas Day on one of our larger water mains,” says Robinson. “Field operations personnel worked around the clock to find and repair the leak while the Water Treatment Plant personnel operated the plant at full capacity to assure that no one would experience a water outage on Christmas Day.”
“So many of the city’s departments did a great job of working together this winter to make sure the citizens were well taken care of,” says Tyler.
In return, many citizens and businesses took extremely good care of Salem’s utility workers. Chick-fil-A, Mac and Bob’s, Doughnut World and a number of citizens delivered food to the workers to show their appreciation.
      Street Department Director Mike Tyler and Mac & Bob’s owner Bob Rotanz hold one of the six 6-foot subs Rotanz and his employees provided for plow drivers.
www.salemva.gov | SPRING 2016
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