In an interview, Red Bank public utilities director Gary Watson and supervisor Bob Holiday discuss the challenges of the December 26-27 blizzard. Below, a jagged glacier of snow dumped by municipal haulers at the Navesink end of Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge)
A fast-falling, heavy snow, stranded cars and eager-to-dig-out residents combined to make last week’s blizzard a tough clean-up challenge, says the man in charge of Red Bank’s effort.
“This was a significant storm,” public utilities director Gary Watson tells redbankgeen in the video interview above. “You can’t compare this with other storms.”
“We were dealt a tough hand,” he says.
Full preparations for attacking the mess were made before the first flake fell, Watson and DPU supervisor Bob Holiday say. But the snow was so heavy, and accumulated so quickly more than two feet over 24 hours that snow plows became stuck, slowing the effort and leaving some streets untouched for days.
“This was not one of those plowable storms,” says Watson.
Watson also defends his prioritization of the cleanup, which left glaciers of snow piled up at Marine Park, the north end of Maple Avenue and the parking lot of Count Basie Fields, and is still ongoing, he says.
“We’re still fighting this storm,” he says, noting that there are still piles of snow in parking lots and narrowed streets that need to be opened. “For us, we’re far from back to normal.”