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Rochester City Hall prepared for winter weather

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - The City of Rochester is partnering with the Red Cross, RG&E and the Rochester Police Department in its snow preparedness plan.

"We're preparing for the worst weather conditions possible," said commissioner of the department of environmental services, Norman Jones.

That includes having different types of snow removal vehicles to get the job done.

"What we've learned in previous years is you have to have a variety of equipment,” he said. “You have to make sure you have the right application for the right conditions. We have blowers and wing plows and some of the best pieces of equipment that we could possibly acquire."

The Red Cross suggests families create a plan if the power goes out, discuss how to communicate, keep first and emergency kits close by, along with winterizing their homes and cars. The agency is ready to set up emergency shelters and provide help to families in need.

“We know winter weather is coming, and now is the time for people to make sure their families are safe and prepared,” said Kenneth Turner, American Red Cross regional disaster officer.

The city has 8,000 tons of salt in its shed, more than 200 snow vehicles gassed and ready to clear snowy roads and sidewalks.

“In Rochester, We’ve faced many challenges, and each time we have bounced back,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. “This year, if a storm hits, our community will be prepared, informed and resilient.”

While the city is ready, some people aren't.

"I've been checking out my bent shovels from last year,” said Andy Cullerton. “I realized I can't find half of my gloves. So that's how I’m getting ready. I’m still refusing to accept it; as you can see I’m not wearing a coat yet."

Instead of shopping for shovels, snow brushes and warming salt, Cullerton was shopping for blue Christmas lights to hang at Mayer Paint & Hardware store Tuesday.

“We're still in denial, yes,” Cullerton said, even after living in Rochester his entire life. "Am I ready for the snow? Not really. Deciding whether to have somebody plow my driveway or buy a snow blower."

Eileen Wierzbicki is from California and puts up with the bad Rochester winters.

“We're looking for a little bit of snow to break us in,” she said. “So we don't get a foot all at once. Might as well start the season."

All of this winter prep comes while the city’s still dealing with fall. Tuesday crews racked and siphoned piles of leaves along city side streets. This, as lake effect snow is expected to blow in from the west late Tuesday into Thursday.

"That's the tough thing with this time of year in Rochester,” said Dennis McCarthy, the manager of Mayer Paint & Hardware. “We almost have just as many racks and shovels still out with leaf bags as we do snow shovels. And, you know, in a second that will turn over, and we'll be taking out all the racks and bringing out all the snow shovels."

The city is reminding folks about its PlowTrax app, which people can use to track snow plows in real-time.

They’re also ask people to be courteous of those with physical disabilities and shovel sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses when there’s at least three inches of fresh snowfall.

They also ask citizens to pay close attention to alternate parking on side streets during snow emergencies.

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