Patchogue Village preps for coming blizzard


Plow trucks streaming into the village's municipal yard off Waverly Avenue Friday morning. (Michael White)

Your cars don’t have to leave the village, but they can’t stay on the streets.

That’s the word from Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, who said the only real issues the village typically faces during snow storms is vehicles blocking plow trucks.

“We’ve been pushing snow for 100 years in the village,” Pontieri said. “We put the plows out and the sand out and the salt. The only thing we really want people to know is that they have to get their vehicles off the roads so we can plow curb to curb.”

That means packing them into driveways or onto lawns if necessary, he said.

Any vehicles blocking plows from reaching a roadway will be towed.

In the meantime, highway crews were already out early Friday brining village parking lots and the main roadways in order to stave off the sticking just a little longer come Saturday.

St. Joseph’s College is also shutting down operations at its Patchogue campus for the weekend.

The National Weather Service, which has issued a blizzard warning for Long Island and the five boroughs, predicts that snow will start falling over the area by 5 a.m.

The Weather Service has also issued a coastal flood advisory for Saturday afternoon and night.

Patchogue’s public works superintendent, Joseph Dean, said flooding is a larger concern than handling the expected 7 to 10 inches of accumulation.

“If I’m concerned about anything it’s with the high tides and the storm surge, and how that can affect our snow removal capabilities toward the southern end of town,” Dean said.

Otherwise, he said, Patchogue Village’s public works, parks & rec, and water treatment workers are all fully prepared to handle the blizzard, which is expected to last through Sunday.

That’s about 30 to 35 people in all, Dean said.

It also includes two mechanics who wait in the garage on standby.

“And they usually don’t have to wait long,” Dean said. “These trucks take a lot of abuse in these snow storms, as do the workers.”

The village also contracts out for manpower on an as-needed basis, and hires per diem shovel crews to handle walkways and stairways, he said.

Anyone interested in shoveling on Sunday should call Village Hall at 475-4300.

Dean expects the village’s plows to salt the road Saturday morning if it’s warm enough and then start moving snow probably around noon, noting the the predicted arrival time for the snow keeps getting pushed back.

Of course, no one knows what to full expect until the storm arrives.

“It may sound cliché,” he said, “but every storm is different.”