Newark streets a struggle for snow crews working in frigid temperatures

Officials in Newark admit that work to clear the city's streets has been difficult and slow-going. Many of the streets are passable but still covered

Many of the streets are passable but still covered in a slushy mixture that will turn to ice as temperatures drop.

Many of the streets are passable but still covered in a slushy mixture that will turn to ice as temperatures drop. (1/3/14)

NEWARK - Officials in Newark admit that work to clear the city's streets has been difficult and slow-going.

Many of the streets are passable but still covered in a slushy mixture that will turn to ice as temperatures drop.

The city admits it's had a lot of challenges getting the snow off the roads, not because of a lack of manpower, but because of the freezing temperatures.

"We're experiencing temps we haven't experienced since the early 80s," says Amos Crudup, of the Department of Public Works. "When you take temps like this and mix it with snow that fell, you have a tremendous problem."

One issue is that the salt does not mix with the snow as much when the temperatures are very low. Officials say crews will remain on the city streets through Saturday evening.

Authorities say clearing the streets is vital for the 275,000 residents and tens of thousands of commuters, but they are running into trouble trying to remove the snow from the streets.

Newark Public Schools were closed Friday, but Anthony Flanigan cleared the sidewalks at Shabazz High School as he has for every storm over the past 15 years. But this storm is unique because of the cold. "I feel the changes of the temperature dropping, kinda getting numb," he says.

The city says 50 salt trucks laying 3,500 tons of salt have been out since Thursday afternoon and some contracted drivers, like Jason Simoes, have worked double or even triple shifts. "I'm going on 32 hours," he says. "It keeps coming down. We gotta stay out there."

Trucks are clearing hills and bridges first, but many side streets are still relatively untreated.

There are 11 emergency shelters open for the city's homeless and the city has received dozens of calls on their no-heat hotline.
 

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