DUNKIRK – Police Chief David Ortolano told members of the Public Safety Committee about procedures for emergency street closings due to weather-related incidents.
At the regular meeting of the committee held Monday in City Hall, the chief talked about the recent snowstorms and said that the decisions to announce travel bans came from a joint conference between the Department of Public Works, the Mayor’s Office and city police.
Many cars got stuck in the snow on both of the stormy days this month, Ortolano said. The snow was so heavy that 10 to 15 reports of stuck vehicles were coming in to emergency workers each hour. “The streets were clogged with vehicles stuck in the heavy snow,” the chief said.
Police officers were out with shovels helping some people dig their vehicles out of the snow.
The early winter storms hit Dunkirk two times within just days.
The chief said the travel bans are a courtesy and are issued to motorists to get them to comply with the request to stay off city streets. He said that in the event of a travel emergency, tickets could be issued to motorists.
The chief also talked about students walking in the roadway near Dunkirk High School. He said that students cross the street at areas other than the crosswalk and walk along the edge of the street instead of on sidewalks. Ortolano said he will ask the school to try to inform students of the dangers of walking in those areas.
The chief reported that motorists have been courteous in school zones and that the 15-mph speed in those zones has been closely monitored by police officers.