You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Mobilizing all our resources': Pittsburgh officials detail city's snow preparations

WTAE Pittsburgh logo WTAE Pittsburgh 1/15/2022
Mayor Ed Gainey © City of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey held a briefing Friday morning about preparations for a winter storm that could drop several inches of snow on the region this weekend.

Click the video player above to watch.

Sign up for our Newsletters

Western Pennsylvania will be under a winter storm watch from Sunday afternoon through Monday.

Acting Public Works Director Chris Hornstein said the city is "mobilizing all of our resources" for the storm.

"We have 20,000 tons of salt on stock. We have over 80 piles ready to go. On any given shift, we will have anywhere from 40 to 70 drivers on the roads plowing our streets," Hornstein said. "Additionally, we're bringing in all of our manpower resources to assist with the hand clearing of steps, sidewalks and bridges. This equates to about 80 people, and we'll have additional staff available to deal with emergency facilities issues that may come from power outages and heating and cooling concerns."

Total snowfall projections for Pittsburgh: Watch the video above.

This will be the second time this month the city is deploying snowplows.

Gainey, who took office last week, said "it has become clear to me" that the city needs to improve its equipment and operations to efficiently respond to winter weather.

"I want to be honest with you: We are working to undo years of disinvestment," Gainey said. "Let's be clear. This is not a press conference to place blame, but it is important to be honest about our capabilities and stand here today and tell you that we are not where we want to be, but we will get there."

After the first significant snowfall of the year, Gainey expressed proud sentiments for the work done by Public Works crews.

Gainey spoke Friday about Pittsburgh storm preparations in a visit to a Public Works division in Hazelwood.

"We know we have to place additional investments into Public Works and we're looking forward to doing that. We just want to tell the residents we're doing all that we can. We're doing everything that we can to make sure that we get these streets plowed. I want you to know we won't rest until we get it right," Gainey said.

Hornstein said aging equipment is part of the problem.

"Quite honestly, I believe the biggest problem is the age and condition of our fleet," Hornstein said. "Our average age of our fleet is 11 years. If your fleet was properly aged, the average age would be about five to six years."

Gainey said he wants to improve the system.

"It is my promise to you that we will work to do our best to assess and continue to get better," Gainey said. "Together, we will build a Pittsburgh for all and it starts with investing in our Public Works."

During the news conference on Friday, Acting Public Works Director Chris Hornstein announced an action plan that includes:

  • City crews will begin salting and plowing emergency routes and primary routes beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday
  • Mobilization of all resources which include a total of 80 snowplows, and more than 20,000 tons of salt
  • A taskforce of 80 employees who will be tasked with hand-clearing steps, sidewalks, and bridges and an estimated 10 people who will be on standby to respond to emergency facilities requests including power outages, HVAC issues, plumbing issues and more

City residents and visitors are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary travel during periods of precipitation and while crews are working to clear and treat surface streets.

TOP STORIES FROM WTAE:

Projected snow totals for western Pennsylvania Sunday into Monday

Winter storm watch issued for western Pa. Sunday into Monday

Expected snowfall brings usual drill for shoppers in Pittsburgh area

Man charged in connection to Stowe Township shooting that injured one person

Health care workers face March 15 vaccination deadline after Supreme Court ruling

READ THE FULL STORY:'Mobilizing all our resources': Pittsburgh officials detail city's snow preparations

CHECK OUT WTAE:Stay in the know with the latest Pittsburgh news, weather and sports. Catch all of the day’s top stories and more from the team at WTAE Pittsburgh Action News 4.

AdChoices
AdChoices

MORE FROM WTAE Pittsburgh

WTAE Pittsburgh
WTAE Pittsburgh
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon