Ice created from the rain prior to Thursday and Friday's heavy snowfall has created unforeseen and unprecedented problems for highway crews in the town's road cleanup process, according to Smithtown's Public Safety Director John Valentine.
"We had the resources to do the job, it’s just unprecedented environmental issue that’s just beyond anybody’s control," Valentine said. "In the 30-something years that I’ve been dealing with snow-fighting I’ve never seen anything like this that had the weight that it had."
Valentine said the major or arterial roads typically get the first and fastest attention, but the ice made clearing even those nearly impossible, citing Gibbs Pond Road, a road that rarely ices he said, as having a 5-inch layer of solid ice.
"It made it difficult for our equipment to deal with, so strategies had to be effected to deal with that snowfall, that sub-base of that snow," he said. "That, and the amount of snowfall, you’re looking at 30 inches of snowfall and drifts of four or five feet all over town, just made for a difficult situation."
Public Safety and the Highway Department have been consistently fielding calls of roads not being opened up and roads not cleared to where the residents feel they could drive safely, concerns the departments have targeted Monday.
To achieve this the town is using outside sand companies they've secured to hit mostly the courts and back roads, and have brought out heavy road construction equipment to break up the ice sub-base on the roads, including all of the town's road graders.