A little Cabin Fever brought me out off my unplowed road onto Quaker Path to see what was up, and report back to my neighbors who weren't as adventurous or able. Quaker Path was open and there were many happy refuges plodding along on the sunny day. We'd ask one another, "Has your street been plowed? Any news when?"
While it appeared some side streets had been plowed, it was actually homeowners closest to Quaker Path who used little snow blowers to create mini roads just at the beginning of their streets. Town representatives explained their large plows couldn't make it through the large amounts of snow, yet our Home Depot-grade snow blowers plowed through 2 1/2 feet of it.
On the corner of Quaker Path and a side street sat a Brookhaven Town Plow Truck with our local overseer inside. I explained our road hadn't been plowed, he countered that it definitely had, and I reached for my phone with virgin snow road pix. He waved it away, and after much smiling by me, he grudgingly pulled out his phone - a tiny ancient old thing from the days when women wore shoulder pads, and allegedly made a call. I tried to cheer him up by saying, "Next year there will be Ipads and a Google Map to help you out."
He replied he hated computers, proudly refused to upgrade his phone and had no intention of using anything new. If town employees aren't using or willing to use new technology, there are no maps, little or no up to date communication, and ~ no accountability.
While News12 worked hard to keep us informed, towns officials had little to offer. Reality was revealed by helicopter views of entire neighborhoods uncleared. Stranded cars severely impacted commuter roads, but lack of simple, cheap tools created the Nemo Plowgate. As LIPA failed the technology test for Sandy, so did our town's highway departments during Nemo.
National Grid excelled this time around, accounting all electric outages, fixing them and updating the numbers. Why? Automated tracking systems and updates. We can learn or borrow the systems set up by either the National Grid, or NYC’s plowing technology. Town employees should have town phones with tracking devices and simple apps to make sure they're doing what they're supposed to be doing where they're supposed to be doing it. Simple.
There were no emergencies on our street during this situation. I supposed a helicopter could have flown over, but the abundance of trees would make it very dicey. A fire? Who knows.
We're experiencing weather patterns that produce huge destructive storms. Long Island townships need to pull together a game plan of communication and implementation that demands taking advantage of coordination tools that technology provides.