Nearly a month after a record setting blizzard overwhelmed Brookhaven snow removal crews, town officials said they have organized hundreds of plows to respond to a nor`easter forecast to hit the area beginning Wednesday night
"We are prepared for this one," said Jack Krieger, a town spokesman.
He said town officials took part in a series of organizational meetings Wednesday morning. Also, Krieger added that Brookhaven's Highway Department trucks have been equipped for the predicted 6 to 8 inches snow that is expected to fall Wednesday night into Thursday.
However, as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, town officials have not yet decided when to call in snow removal crews.
"We haven't made the determination whether we will keep them or call them in when it starts snowing," Krieger said. "More than likely, we'll ask them to come in when it starts snowing."
Town officials have also reached out to outside snow removal contractors, putting them on call for the impending nor`easter. The contractors will be receiving a new, higher pay after the town board approved legislation raising the hourly rate for outside contractors at its Feb. 26 meeting.
Between the town's own vehicles and outside contractors, Krieger said there are more than 700 vehicles ready to hit the road, more than the 500 snowplows prepared ahead of the Feb. 8 blizzard.
Following last month's historic snow storm, Brookhaven officials faced strong public criticism for the town's poor snow removal efforts that left some residential streets unplowed for days.
Ironically, the town's pre-storm preparations come a day after Republican Dan Losquadro was elected as Brookhaven's Highway Superintendent. He defeated Democrat Kathy Walsh 51.2 percent to 47.7 percent.
However, Losquadro will not take the helm of the Highway Department until March 12.
"I can still operate in an outside capacity until such time I legally take the oath of office," Losquadro said.
The superintendent-elect said he has been in touch with Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and officials at the Highway Department about plans for the coming storm. He said he plans to be a part of all storm response and snow removal planning.
Losquadro said a nor'easter striking only one day after the special election is somewhat ironic.
"At meet the candidate nights I kept saying, 'Knowing my luck, we will get a storm the day after I'm elected,'" he said. "I should have kept my mouth shut."