City goes out on a limb for after-storm brush pickup

OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino Pictured are fallen branches in front of homes on Main Street in Dunkirk. The city will be doing a special brush pickup beginning Monday due to last week’s storm.

Heavy snow brought down tree limbs and electric lines March 1 in the city of Dunkirk, making for a scary movie-like scene one official compared to “Armageddon.” By late morning of March 2, the scene was much different and the work continues with a citywide cleanup scheduled.

“I had to go out at 4 a.m. the night of the storm and plow some private apartments that I have myself. I was amazed at the amount of trees that had fallen, the amount of wires that were laying across streets, the snow that was in the streets without a car track to be found anywhere. It was actually a little scary, movie-like, sort of like Armageddon,” Councilman-at-Large Andy Woloszyn said. “To come back six hours later when I got done working for the night and to find it all cleared up, everywhere I went at least as I drove around the city, was an amazing job by the DPW department within a matter of five or six hours. And with the first responders out doing their due diligence with the wires down, I commend you guys immensely, all three of your departments, for the time and effort that was put in that night.”

Another council member said the type of snow brought back memories of helping Erie County through the so-called “October Surprise” snowstorm of 2006.

“The snow Friday that we had, that was a different kind of snow. It was heavy. It was a mess out there, but I think everybody did a good job cleaning it up. I worked in the October Surprise many years ago and that was similar to that. It was a lot different than regular snow,” First Ward Councilman Don Williams Jr. added.

Mayor Willie Rosas also commended city crews.

“I was on a conference call and some neighboring municipalities had to call travel advisories and some even called a state of emergency because they couldn’t keep up. Our guys stayed with it, worked many hours and did a fine job. They kept with it throughout the weekend and by the time school started, we had the sidewalks cleared. Not only that, as recent as (Monday) they were clearing up the business district. We received calls and compliments on that and we’re going to make that standard anytime that we can do it,” he said.

The aftermath of the snowstorm has been cleared from the roads, but the effect can still be seen in hanging tree limbs and piles of brush on the side of the road. Rosas announced the city will address that with a special city-wide brush pickup Monday through Friday in addition to the regularly scheduled curbside pickups.

Residents are asked to have brush piles to the curb by 7 a.m. Monday. There will only be one pass made, but residents can always take brush to the Lucas Avenue Public Works Facility during hours of operation. Residents are asked not to mix branches with the established leaf pile. Any brush left on the curb after pickup will be considered a city code violation.