By JOHN HOWELL Everything was ready. The robo calls alerting residents of the storm, the parking ban and that Friday trash and recycling collections were still planned had been made. Plow vendors were on standby and city crews knew what to do. School
Everything was ready. The robo calls alerting residents of the storm, the parking ban and that Friday trash and recycling collections were still planned had been made. Plow vendors were on standby and city crews knew what to do. School was canceled for some elementary grades while the rest were set to go to distance learning.
Mayor Frank Picozzi figured everything was in place. The city was as prepared for the first real snow storm of the season as it could be. Picozzi set his alarm for 4:30 expecting to be on top of it all from the first snowflake.
Yet, when he let the dog out there was no hint of snow.
“Oh, for God sakes,” he remembers thinking. “All this preparation and then nothing.”
Of course, Picozzi didn’t have to wait long before the snow came…and came. It was piling up quickly. Now that he has sold the truck he used for his contracting business and plowing, Picozzi got out the snow blower. He did his drive and those of three elderly neighbors who had always counted on him to be there with his plow.
He got on the road to assess conditions and see if there were any trouble spots. Plows were out and it wasn’t all that bad until he reached Post Road.
“That was a different story,” Picozzi said.
He headed for Cowesett, which can be tricky because of the hills. Crews had Cowesett under control. All the city trucks had drivers. Picozzi wouldn’t be driving a pickup with a plow as he had done in a storm last year. He was getting hungry. It was time for breakfast, but when he reached Gel’s Kitchen on West Shore Road, the parking lot was full. By 11, Picozzi completed his rounds and figured it was time to head for the office and catch up on paperwork.
One frustration was Rhode Island Resource Recovery. They closed the landfill for Friday, meaning the city had to cancel trash and recycling pickups. They would need to be done on Saturday, resulting in overtime costs.
But Picozzi wasn’t complaining.
The storm had been handled efficiently and with rising afternoon temperatures and the sun peeking from clouds, the cleanup was relatively easy.
NO SLOWING DOWN THE MAIL: Kayla Cilley, who filled in for the postman who handles the route covering the Warwick Beacon office on Warwick Avenue collected and delivered mail of Friday. (Warwick Beacon photo)
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