No name storm tests public works crews

Standby crews were busy during last weekend’s nor’easter; the topic of discussion during “The Break Room” program when City of St. Augustine Director of Public Affairs, Paul Williamson, interviewed Todd Grant, Deputy Public Works Director.

“The rain, strong winds, and higher than normal tides all kept Public Works busy over the weekend, and all this week, collecting yard debris,” Grant said.

The brunt of the storm hit on Sunday — thankfully, the Public Works, Police and Fire departments had done advance planning, insuring a minimum impact from what Williamson described as a “mini-hurricane”.

One piece of advance planning that did not have to be done this time was to station officials on either side of the San Sebastian Bridge on King Street — between Malaga and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

The heavy flooding that St. Augustinians have grown accustomed to in that area are no longer a threat since the recent and extensive FDOT road repairs have been completed. Grant said all of the support systems performed as they should and the roadway remained clear and passable.

Simply put, Williamson said many people worked very hard; however, putting it into perspective, in a usual week, the Solid Waste and Sanitation Division will collect about 25 tons of yard trash. As of the end of the day yesterday, the collection exceeded 70 tons and the estimation is that by the end of today the total will exceed 100 tons.

Grant pointed out in the interview that crews performed four-times the normal amount of work without having to resort to using overtime. Supervisors, like Rick Stevens and others, turned out to help manage the heightened demand for services.

Williamson noted that not all this yard debris includes the public properties and parks throughout the city. “All that clean-up was performed by the Streets and Grounds Division,” Williamson told Historic City News. “The city has a strong commitment to looking good, so it’s not surprising that crews gave our parks and the Plaza immediate attention.”

You can listen to the previously recorded program.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph

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