RUMSON DONE AS SEA BRIGHT DIGS OUT

plowA snow plow on East River Road Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While other towns continue trying to dig out from massive amounts of snow, it’s down to a cleanup effort in Rumson.

Public Works crews worked through the night Monday plowing through the borough’s seven-square-miles, and by Tuesday morning all streets were open, “which, I don’t think, a lot of the neighboring towns can say,” Mayor John Ekdahl said.

No they can’t.

In Middletown, public works had set a goal of having all roads clear by midnight. The township hired private contractors to help plow about 300 miles of road, Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger said in a news release.

Sea Bright had to do the same thing, and still hadn’t had all its roadways clear as of Tuesday evening. All downtown streets were opened up Tuesday, but the North and South beach areas were still shut down.

“It’s way beyond the capacity of our public works,” said council president William Keeler.

The heavy-hitting storm was, at one point, too much for Rumson to handle, Ekdahl said. The larger trucks were getting stuck in the snow, he said, so Public Works Director Mark Wellner switched to plan b: “gang plowing.” DPW employees went in eight hour shifts, in groups of two and three smaller trucks, tackling the blanketed roadways, Ekdahl said. That method proved to be the most efficient, he added.

“Now we’re just cleaning up,” Ekdahl said.

The question remains how badly the blizzard is going to hit the purse.

Ekdahl said that considering the timing, there should be no major effect on the 2010 budget.

Keeler isn’t so sure how Sea Bright will get hit since it had to hire contractors.

“That’s going to play havoc with the budget,” he said.