By Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — Several city departments converged at the city government complex last Friday for an advanced snow emergency planning session. Extreme weather topics included emergency shelters, food arrangements, whether or not to collect trash or the need of backup generators for special facilities, and should they choose to declare emergency routes, where will vehicles be relocated?
These were only a few of the many potentials shared, as foul weather is more than just plowing streets, and with old man winter not about to let up any time soon the city took an unusual step in preparation Tueday. Starting at 2 p.m., Gary Huff, city manager, placed all city departments on an internal emergency status so anyone who needed to be utilized during the winter storm would be available. Stating they will do, “whatever is necessary to get our streets as clear as possible.” While hopeful they will not need all such preparations discussed last week but, “Not taking any chances.”
Good news for the city as inclement weather made its way into the area, a shipment of salt arrived on Monday, however, it, “Still puts us a lot lower than we want to be for this time of year,” said Huff who would be working with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) about further shipments in the near future.
Also, as highlighted by Huff, if a situation should arise where snow becomes overwhelming, the city has access to area contractors for assistance. Explaining that should such an unusual circumstance arrive, if declared a state of emergency, such as in the case of the straight-line winds that hit the area in July 2012, access to federal emergency assistance may be available.
In the meantime, the city of Piqua has offered a few tips via social media on how to aid city crew in the snow plowing process:
Don’t shovel or plow snow into city streets
Don’t shovel or plow snow into driveway aprons
Don’t shovel or plow snow around fire hydrants or mailboxes
Keep distance from snow plows both on foot or in a vehicle
If possible, remove parked cars from the street
Don’t attempt to pass a snow plow