Snow & Ice Control
Emergency Call-out Procedure
The following policies and procedures serve as a practical guide for the cost effective emergency and snow or ice control in the County of Gloucester.
Definition of Emergency
- An unexpected situation or occurrence that demands immediate attention
- Does the emergency make the road unsafe, or the level of service unsatisfactory if no action is taken
- Tree in road
- Large pot holes
- Icy conditions
- Oil spill
- Substantial bridge damage
- Substantial road damage
- Stone, glass or debris on road
If any of the conditions listed as emergency examples were caused by an auto accident, the tow truck operator is to handle the clean up of debris, anti-freeze and oil. On all issues, police should stay on the scene until we respond; this will ensure the safety of the motorist and assure us that it is an emergency.
Monitoring & Notification of Ice / Snow Events During Working Hours
- Observations of the Public Works crews or police may trigger the first response
- During off duty hours police officers may contact the Communications Center directly to initiate the first crew to respond. The Public Works foreman on call will respond to communication dispatch by activating highway employees and dump trucks with material spreaders
- Weather reports will be monitored by police and Public Works personnel when inclement weather is approaching
- The use of radios, tv, and national weather service may occur in conjunction with on-the-street observations to determine notification timing
- The purpose of a storm watch is to prevent an excessive time lapse between the recognition of storm conditions and the initiation of proper control procedures
Material spreading conditions may warrant the application of sand or salt or a mixture thereof. Temperature conditions may also warrant the addition of liquid calcium chloride to any such mixture in order to obtain the desired action from application of a salt mixture.
Application will follow the same priorities established for snow removal:
- Parking: designated snow routes marked by permanent posting will be enforced by local police department
- Snow plowing: since the road is often salted by the same truck that is the plowing, snow is allowed to accumulate 1 to 2 inches before the plowing operation begins
Private Property & Mailboxes
County equipment will not clear private driveways or private property, such as parking lots, except in an emergency that is directed by the director of Highway Department or Freeholder Liaison. Snow placed in a driveway or on sidewalks where the driveway or sidewalk meets the road by county plows is the responsibility of the property owner to remove.
Mailboxes are particularly vulnerable since they are normally set close to the highway. The Highway Department will make every effort not to damage them. Repairs to mailboxes will not be done by the Highway Department. Insurance claims forms will be sent to home owners upon request.
In order to make the most efficient use of available resource, it is necessary to establish priorities using the assumption that the severity of the storm is not beyond the normal capabilities of the county highway resources. Deviations will occur. For example, the severity may preclude all snow removal operations or seriously impede response; or, an emergency may require a different allocation of resources.
- Hospital Routes (as per GCAARAin 1994):
- County Route 538 and 553 (up to Salem County line)
- Egg Harbor Road
- Fries Mill Road
- Hurffville-Cross Keys Road
- Kings Highway
- Red Bank Avenue (East and West)
- Woodbury-Glassboro Road
- Arterial Roads (as per adopted resolution on February 3, 1994)
- Collector Roads (as per adopted resolution on February 3, 1994)
- Local Roads (as per adopted resolution on February 3, 1994)
Sanding and plowing of any street may be stopped at any time to go back to higher priority roads to re-sand or plow, if conditions warrant.
- When police, fire and rescue assistance must leave the public right-of-way to respond to an emergency, snow removal crews will provide necessary assistance such as opening a driveway or parking lot to give access to the emergency crews.
- Isolated problem areas when traction is urgently needed before other areas are handled.
- Note: the Police Department may advise of road conditions and shall not direct snow and ice operations of the Public Works Department
- Icing conditions where water line breaks have occurred
- Under the direction of emergency management, through the director of the Highway Department, for the assistance of transportation of essential personnel complaint procedures, the same complaint form currently in use for all other complaints will be used for snow removal complaints
- Emergency complaints may be handled by the supervisor on duty or the director of highways. Reports of a storm record shall be prepared for each snow removal operation for each yard. Work orders will be completed by each driver. This record should contain operating times, weather conditions, resources committed and results
- Disclaimer to the extent that any previous rule, regulation, policy or past practice, written or unwritten, is in conflict with the provisions of this policy, such is hereby withdrawn, voided and all personnel should conduct themselves in conformity with this policy. This policy is not intended to create any duty to any individual member of the public or to protect any particular or circumscribed class of persons
All or part of this policy may be affected by at least one or more of the following which will delay all or some of the services provided:
- Equipment breakdown
- Vehicles disabled in deep snow
- Weather so severe as to cause crews to be called in from the roads
- Equipment rendered inadequate by depth of the snow or drifts
- Crew breaks for food and rest as required by federal transportation regulations, and breaks required for refueling, refilling of material spreaders and installing chains and new blades
- Unforeseen conditions
Emergency Personnel Policy
- All drivers will complete pre-storm inspection forms for all equipment used in snow/ice removal
- Personnel reporting for duty will report to their foreman to receive instructions
- Personnel will apply salt or sand at the rate of 300 to 800 pounds per two lane mile
- Salt will be applied in a 4 to 8 foot strip along the center line of a two lane road. This pattern is effective at the beginning of the storm or with little accumulation on the roadway. As the storm increases you must increase to white line to white line
- Sand will be applied from white line to white line at all times
- After sand or salt is applied to roadway, it will not be applied again within one hour
- Plowing will start after 1 to 2 inches has accumulated
- Plows will be adjusted so that the wheels are on the pavement at all times and are just taking the weight on the plow
- Plowing is continued throughout the storm as needed to keep the accumulation on the roadway to a serviceable level
- No one should operate a plow continuously for more than 12 hours without a rest break
- Operators must remember that they are traveling with traffic, subject to the same levels and requirements, and that snowplows do not have any special privileges
- It is vital that roadway drains and catch basin be kept open to allow melting ice and snow to run off. When water ponds and puddles around drains falling temperatures may cause it to re-freeze