Utilities and towns prep for weekend storm

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — At the City of Milford’s Department of Public Works, crews spent much of Wednesday getting acquainted with a new piece of equipment.

“We just had this machine come in today. It was tentatively scheduled to come in in about two weeks, but with the forecast of this heavy weather over the weekend, we asked the contractor or manufacturer if they could get it in and ship it and they did,” said Public Works director Chris Saley.

The new machine is called the Trackless MT and it can plow, brush and throw snow up to 100 feet. It will be used to clear driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and help maintain the city’s 250 miles of roadways.

“It’s a four wheel drive machine. It’s an awesome machine. It also does milling, so if we have a pot hole in the winter time we can actually mill it and then pave it with our hot asphalt machine that we use. So, it’s really a big addition to the city,” said Saley.

The price tag for the Trackless MT … $153,000. But, the city says they’re doing well on budget so far this winter as a whole.

“We have been fortunate in the sense that we haven’t had any major events yet and we’re hoping that it continues in that pattern,” said Saley.

Milford also has enough salt and sand mixture to last through four storms. Saley says adding molasses helps the snow melt at lower temperatures. Crews won’t start pre-treating the roads until a few hours before the snow is expected to start.

Other preparations are also taking place along the shoreline. United Illuminating provides electricity to more than 325-thousand customers in 17 towns and cities and says they’ve been checking equipment and gearing up for any potential outages.

“We make sure that we have all the necessary equipment in place so that if things do happen and we need to replace wires quickly all those tools are ready,” said Michael West, Jr., Vice President of Corporate Communications at UI.

After several major snowstorms left people in the dark in recent years, West says UI has made strides in effective response.

“We’ve drilled quite a bit, we’ve done a lot of preparation in advance of and continue to always to refine our processes,” said West.

UI says they’ve also contacted outside resources to bring in extra crews if the need arises.

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