City of Rochester, towns and citizens prepare for wintry blast

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y./Irondequoit, N.Y. – Friday began as spring-like with a record high of 60 degrees…and then it dropped by nearly 40.

Throughout the warm day, road crews in Rochester prepared for ice, snow and a brutal temperature drop that was to come in the evening. They prepared to work around the clock, salting roads and keeping them clear.

More than 200 pieces of snow-fighting equipment will be hitting different parts of the city, starting with main streets and then working their way into neighborhoods. The city says it has more than enough salt on hand to de-ice roads and is prepared to switch gears once the snow starts to pile up.

By late Friday night, snow was starting to fall at a steady pace, becoming more hazardous by the hour. The dramatic shift in weather prompted local towns to begin salting roads well before snow fell.

James Hughes is a snowplow driver for the Town of Irondequoit. He was called in Friday to begin salting early. He says the main concern is salting busy intersections and bridges – especially before the temperature plummets further.

“We came in at the right time,” he said. “We started presenting the hills and intersections so no one slid down or through them.”

First responders were feeling the pressure from the weather, too. Firefighters in Perinton braved fire and freezing rain that pelted them as they worked.

“Due to the incoming weather and the heavy fire condition, we brought additional companies into the fire,” said Fairport Fire Chief Logan Muster.

Across our area, citizens were preparing for the winter storm – from the supermarket scramble to snow blowers and generators.

Inside Lowe’s in Henrietta, customers were scrambling to prepare. Dan Liberatore was shopping, in part, because of memories from the last big storm, in which a crash affected his life.

“It took out one of my power poles,” he said. “I’d like to avoid having that happen again.”

And when it comes to traveling the next couple of days…

“If you don’t need to be out there,” he added, “stay home.”

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