Sinister Snow and the Plow

Image result for snow berm cartoon imagesThe snowfall this season in the White Mountains has been both a boon and a curse. Everyone knows the area can use all the moisture it can get. However, living with the realities of unusually high levels of snow isn’t exactly a picnic.

The latest snow was simply too much for most plow contractors to handle in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the contractor for the Village had a problem with one of his vehicles as the storm got more intense. This unforeseen incident made for much consternation. There was nothing that could be done at that point.

As an informational aside, the contractor HOAMCO is using to clear the Village streets of snow has other customers. In fact, the few plow contractors in the area have many customers. They move as quickly as they can to remove snow. This is a balancing act as they can’t remove it all at once and must methodically move through each area all while keeping fuel in the vehicles and making sure they are in good repair.

It is understandable that the snow results in a frustrating experience on many levels. Full-time Village residents have experienced several heavier than normal storms this season. Everyone has learned a lesson or two. Going forward our plow contractor will order cinders to be laid down on Village roads as soon as possible after the snow has been plowed.

Residents should plan carefully when a storm is approaching. Run errands for food, water, fuel, and medical prescriptions before the storm hits. Cancel outings that are not critical. Realize that you will not have the ability to move about freely so plan on staying put for a while. Plan for power outages by storing extra batteries for radios and flashlights. Have emergency numbers available and use them only if necessary.

Below is a repeat of a blog post from January 4. It bears restating so that residents have a realistic expectation of the snow removal process and living in a small town with few resources for dealing with this reality.

With the onset of winter in the White Mountains comes snowfall and the challenges of keeping streets clear and safely passable.

 When snow is removed from the road, the snow plow operator has to pile it as far off the shoulder as possible to protect the road surface and make room for traffic and more snow.  The amount of snow fall determines how much to the side of the road the snow can be placed. The plowing operation creates a “snow berm.”  Widening roads too much causes a massive snow berm that can cause damage to the road and to vehicles. It is impossible to plow and not leave a berm.  Please do not shovel the snow back onto the street.

 Heavy snowfall disrupts daily living.  Dealing with it can be frustrating for everyone.  The snowplow crew will do their best to minimize any inconvenience and, if necessary, plowing crews will work around the clock.  What you can do to help: 

  • Do not park your motor vehicles on the roadway.
  • For your safety, keep driving to a minimum during a snowstorm unless necessary.
  • It is recommended to not shovel snow from your driveway street edge until the street has been completely plowed back to the edge of the road to save you from shoveling the driveway edge twice.

When a snowplow is working in the community it has the right of way.  Please use caution. We appreciate your understanding and support.

 What to Do About Berms

We are sorry for this inconvenience, but in making as many roads passable as quickly as possible, there is no way to avoid berms. Snowplow operators push the snow off the roadway in smooth, continuous passes and the snow ends up on the road shoulders, blocking driveways. Unfortunately, it is your responsibility to clear berms from your driveway. To avoid double work:

  • Be patient. Someone is plowed first, and someone is plowed last. We don’t get to choose. But try to shovel snow from your driveway after a plow has been by.
  • Shovel the snow to the right of your driveway as you face the road.
  • Don’t shovel or blow snow back into the roadway.
  • Shovel berm before it freezes or is packed down.
  • Hire someone to do the work for you.
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7 thoughts on “Sinister Snow and the Plow

  1. While your post gives some very good advice to residents here in the winter, and while the last storm was quite an event, if we are relying on one person, with one bob cat or one plow on the front of his pickup, I think some mention of the association or Hoa being better prepared might be in order also. Yes, while there are a limited amount of plows in the area, there are men, women and children in the Village that, for days and days and days had no means of emergency responders arriving in the event of an illness or injury. Most of the one way streets in here were so narrow your car scraped the side on the berms, even four days after the end of the snow fall, not to mention they were snow packed and icy. Cinders certainly would have helped matters. We had been through this on snows before this last one, I myself had to call anyone and everyone I could, including the Hoa and advisory committee members to get cinders spread. There were several very close calls of people sliding up/down on V V Drive almost sliding into cabins, cars and the arroyo. If those events were not enough to cause the Hoa or association to be better prepared for this last snow storm, it’s clear some more, and better plans need to be addressed.

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    1. Your suggestion to “hire someone” to clear snow .. after plows blocking in driveways is absurd. Isn’t that what we pay homeowners fees for..?…. we DID have to pay someone to get out,four days after the storm! Will this be deducted from out Hoa fees for the month?

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      1. HOA assessments do not pay for someone to clear a resident’s driveway or the berms left by the snow plow. That was the point of the comment to “hire someone” to clear snow so no, it won’t be deducted from HOA fees.

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  2. We have a 4WD and snow chains. I have lived all over the USA – including the northeast. I am not unfamiliar with ice storms and snow. I am also familiar with responsible proactive snow removal processes. I have photos that are all taken on the same day – only a few minutes apart. Two HOAMCO Properties: Torreón and Show Low Bluffs. They are scraped and clear and have cinders applied. Our roads in WMVV that we pay to be clear were NOT. We had 16 degree temperatures and many older people in the back of the park. They could get out. They were left this way for days. This is NOT the first time our roads have been left a solid sheet of ice – this in our NORMAL.

    Note: Other areas around Show Low were noticeably clear when my photos were taken. Parking lots, side streets and other residential developments.

    There is no believable reason for our roads to look like this. None. Straight up Negligence.

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  3. Correction

    We have a 4WD and snow chains. I have lived all over the USA – including the northeast. I am not unfamiliar with ice storms and snow. I am also familiar with responsible proactive snow removal processes. I have photos that are all taken on the same day – only a few minutes apart. Two HOAMCO Properties: Torreón and Show Low Bluffs. They are scraped and clear and some have cinders applied. Our roads in WMVV that we pay to be clear were NOT. We had 16 degree temperatures and many older people in the back of the park. They could NOT get out. They were left this way for days. This is NOT the first time our roads have been left a solid sheet of ice – this in our NORMAL.

    Note: Other areas around Show Low were noticeably clear when my photos were taken. Parking lots, side streets and other residential developments.

    There is no believable reason for our roads to look like this. None. Straight up Negligence.

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  4. On Friday the snow plow did not start plowing until around 5 p.m.. if we had needed to get out, there is no way we could have. Also I dont believe ambulance or fire trucks could get in. This is a dangerous situation. I am 82 with health issues. In January we had to call 911 to get me help and to emergency. I think the attitude that they have breakdowns and other jobs is not excusable. Where do we stand in line for road clearing? Seems like we might be last in line. Our homeowners increased. Our services decreased.

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  5. Wow…Folks that live in the country and on farms across the country deal with this every winter and have no one to cry too, they suck it up and deal with it. Condos are a good choice as we get older , moving to the valley or Tucson are options ….my suggestion “Make WMVV a 6 month park” thus solving all the issues aired on winter snow posts. Additionally, it would lower our hoa fees by reducing costs. The folks living year around in WMVV have really inexpensive (cheap) living and that comes with challenge
    .

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