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Blizzard Update

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by The Broadlands Community, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. The Broadlands Community

    The Broadlands Community Active Member

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    The HOA office and Nature Center will close by 12:00 pm on Friday, January 22, 2016 in conjunction with the Federal Government.

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you are well aware that we’re expecting a significant winter weather event this weekend. Whether we get 12 inches of snow or 30, the impact will take its toll and we will be digging out for several days. The governor has declared a state of emergency, schools have been canceled, and we are under a blizzard warning with heavy snow and wind expected through 6am Sunday. Conditions will deteriorate rapidly starting Friday afternoon. I wanted to take some time to explain a little bit about what to expect in the coming days.

    Broadlands Association and our snow plow contractor, Signature Snow and Ice Control, has made as many advanced preparations as possible in order to keep the association owned roads cleared for emergency response vehicles. Additional heavy equipment and plow operators have been brought in to assist with this epic event. I would ask residents to exercise patience as we dig out of the storm. First of all, please take a moment to determine whether you live on a VDOT street or a private (HOA owned) street. Visit http://www.broadlandshoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SnowRemoval.pdf if you are unsure. Those residents living on private streets pay an additional assessments to the HOA to fund private road maintenance, including snow and ice services. Residents on VDOT streets do not pay the HOA for their road maintenance; these roads are paid for by your personal property taxes. The VDOT website has some good information regarding snow removal at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.

    Our contractor has been plowing in Broadlands for +-18 years. If there is one thing the owner, Ted Sjurseth is passionate about, it’s snow. (He also happens to be the founder and President of America's 9/11 Foundation and is the mastermind behind the annual 9/11 motorcycle ride, but that’s a story for another day). Ted also has crews that plow public roads in the northern part of Broadlands for VDOT (the roads south of Waxpool/Truro Parish are dispatched out of the Aldie office rather than Leesburg). Plow drivers work 18 hour shifts with 6 hours of sleep between shifts. They work around the clock to keep you safe and make roads accessible as quickly as possible following a snow event.

    The chief objective of snow plowing is to clear one drive lane in order for emergency responders to get to you in the event of a fire or other life threatening emergency. The efforts to clear the roadways are not to enable drivers to go to the grocery store, go to non- essential work, or go joy riding/4 wheeling. We ask that you stay home and off the roads for your safety and the safety of others. If you get on the road under less than optimal driving conditions, you may endanger the lives of snow plow operators, emergency responders who would help you if you got hurt, and doctors/nurses/etc. trying to get to their essential, life-saving jobs. Vehicles driving on snow compact it down, making it more difficult for the plow blade to clear the surface to the pavement. Please heed the warnings of the government and media and stay off the road unless you absolutely must be out in it.

    Plow operators are assigned specific areas of the community and it may take several hours for them to get through their entire section. After one drive lane is made passable, the plows will continue to circulate and will eventually return to widen to two drive lanes, and finally to clean up the remaining snow from intersections and sidewalk curb ramps. With the accumulation we are expecting, this will likely take several hours or days to complete. Machinery and laborers will also be used to clear the main trails and sidewalks adjacent to HOA owned streets. Remember: if your property borders a community sidewalk, it is your responsibility to clear that sidewalk. We fully anticipate having machinery and crews working in the community through Tuesday or Wednesday of next week in order to complete this massive cleanup effort.

    Plows are often a misunderstood piece of equipment. If you’ve ever driven a full sized pickup on a crowded street, which can be a challenge on its own, consider what it’s like to add a 6ft wide plow blade sticking 4 feet out in front of your vehicle. Even a “small” plow truck can be in excess of 22’ long. Take it from me, operating a large vehicle, manipulating a plow blade from side to side and up and down, and frequently shifting gears is pretty challenging. I have personal experience with this as I operated a plow for a few hours while the other driver slept during the 2002-2003 blizzard season. I have a lot of respect for the men and women who do this on a regular basis.

    Plow blades can push snow off to the side, but they cannot pick it up. With significant accumulation expected, the drivers will do everything possible to clear the widest lanes, but they may not be curb to curb. We often receive complaints that plows don’t clear paths close enough to parked vehicles. Bear in mind that these trucks can slide on ice and snow covered roads too, so plow drivers exercise extreme caution near parked vehicles, causing owners to have to shovel more to get vehicles out to the road. Please park your vehicles off the roads and off to the sides of parking lots whenever possible. It can also be difficult for plow blades to scrape down to black pavement, depending on the current conditions (how dry/wet the snow is, how fast it is coming down, how hard the wind is blowing, etc.) With temperatures staying below freezing for the past several days, this will make the pavement harder to clear to blacktop.

    We often hear complaints about driveways being plowed in. Because plows are designed to push snow off to the side, snow is inevitably deposited at the end of a driveway as a byproduct, and this problem becomes more challenging with greater snowfalls. When the volume of snow is great, snow storage space is minimal. The plow drivers do their best to avoid this, but there is only so much that can be done to minimize this problem. We suggest shoveling snow off to the right hand side of your driveway (as you face the street) to help reduce the snow wall at the end of your driveway apron.

    Once again this season, the HOA has provided our contractors with a dedicated phone to handle snow emergency comments from our residents. If you have an immediate concern regarding an HOA owned street or sidewalk, you may contact dispatch at 571-317-4369. This phone will be monitored throughout the storm, but please leave a message if you do not reach dispatch immediately. They may be handling other calls or plowing at the moment. If you reside on a VDOT street, you may contact VDOT at 703-383-8368. You may also visit http://vdotplows.org to track VDOT truck locations in real time.

    Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. While I cannot predict when the HOA office and Nature Center will reopen, I will monitor emails and phone messages to the HOA office remotely in order to provide prompt response to emergencies, provided that we maintain power at my home in Lovettsville. Feel free to email me at sarah@broadlandshoa.com.

    The following information has been distributed by Loudoun County Fire and Rescue:

    Loudoun County Fire and Rescue reminds residents to take additional safety precautions for your home and personal safety. Some critical safety tips to remember during extreme winter weather include:

    • Be aware of current road conditions and plan accordingly. If travel is necessary; slow down; don't travel alone; inform others of your schedule; stay on main roads and keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

    • Make a Family Communications Plan. It is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

    • To prevent pipes from freezing, locate the faucet the greatest distance from your main water shut off valve and allow faucet to drip cold water slowly.

    • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep devices at least 20 ft. from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

    • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

    • Test all smoke alarms in your home and change batteries if necessary. Smoke alarms should be installed in each bedroom or sleeping area and on every level of the home.

    • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them inspected and serviced annually.

    • Use caution when disposing of fireplace ashes or any flammable materials in or around your home. Fireplace ashes, cigarette butts, and grill or fire pit remnants should be placed outside in a closed metal container, a safe distance away from any structures.

    • To avoid slips and falls in icy conditions, keep walkways clear and treated, wear proper foot gear with good traction and step slowly and carefully.

    • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. If you do shovel snow, stretch before going outside, push snow instead of lifting when possible, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.

    • Clear a three foot area around the fire hydrants in your neighborhood. This simple task can save firefighters precious moments when responding to emergency incidents.

    • Stay informed! Sign up for Alert Loudoun, www.loudoun.gov/alert and receive emergency information, news releases, traffic information, and more. Also visit www.loudoun.gov/winter for additional weather related resources.
     

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    jdhauer likes this.
  2. The Broadlands Community

    The Broadlands Community Active Member

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    This is to provide a quick update to assure you that our crews have been out and working around the clock to try to keep a path clear on the private streets in Broadlands. There are ten trucks, three tractors, a bobcat, front end loader, and over 25 people dedicated to clearing the streets and sidewalks in Broadlands.

    However, this storm is historic in nature and our drivers have said it is worse than Snowmageddeon was in 2010. The wet, heavy snow, high winds, frequent whiteout conditions, and massive snowfall rates in a short period of time make keeping up with the snowfall difficult. The trucks have also encountered abandoned vehicles in the middle of roads that they must work around, and have even gotten stuck themselves at times. Additionally, the plow operators are having trouble finding fuel locally, and are having to travel to Leesburg or Chantilly to fill up. They have also been helping ambulances get into the neighborhood and emergency responders get out of the neighborhood to get to work.

    They are asking residents not to shovel snow from their driveways into the roadways as this creates even more snow for the plows to try to push. Please shovel snow off your driveway into your yard if possible.

    We ask for your continued patience and thank you for your understanding during this crippling and historic storm.
     
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  3. The Broadlands Community

    The Broadlands Community Active Member

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    We are receiving complaints regarding HOA streets needing additional plow service. We continue to dispatch crews to all HOA owned streets and appreciate your patience as we work on our digging out efforts. Crews have been on site for three days clearing out roads, but will continue to work until all HOA owned roads are passable. The dedicated snow plow phone is overwhelmed with calls wanting to know when streets will be open, so if you do not reach a live person, please be patient and try again.

    We also have relieved a number of inquiries regarding VDOT roads. Please review the road list prior to calling to check the ownership and maintenance responsibility and contact the appropriate party. We understand that the VDOT phone lines are overwhelmed as well, but please continue to contact VDOT directly. The HOA staff and contractors cannot assist with VDOT owned streets. The list can be found online at http://www.broadlandshoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SnowRemoval.pdf.

    If you find yourself in a true emergency situation, dial 9-1-1.
     
  4. The Broadlands Community

    The Broadlands Community Active Member

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    Our plow operators keep working day and night to attempt to clear passable lanes on HOA owned streets. Most of these crews have not seen their own beds, more than a few hours of sleep, a hot meal, or their families in over 80 hours at this point. They are putting in long hours to help keep you safe.

    To give you an idea of the sheer volume of snow they are dealing with, the association is responsible for 1.2 million square feet of road surface to clear (This figure does not include any community building parking lots or sidewalks and trails). 36” inches of snow means 3.6 million cubic feet of snow to clear. 5 lbs per cubic foot means 18 million pounds of snow to move - or roughly 9,000 tons… Granted those figures take into account clearing curb to curb, which is not feasible at this time. With plowing one passable lane, this still leaves nearly 4,000 TONS of snow to move - with the added complication of finding places to put it all. Please be patient as they do their best to clear your roads.

    Additionally, since Virginia is under a state of emergency, some of our heavy equipment has been commandeered by the state in order to provide emergency assistance. Two tractors were pulled for medical bone marrow donor emergencies, and additional crews are working at this moment to assist the state with other emergency medical needs. )Note: the HOA is not billed for the times when the plows are working for anyone other than the HOA) Please understand that they have not forgotten you. They will be back as soon as they are able.

    We continue to receive inquiries regarding VDOT roads, which the HOA has no jurisdiction over. Please review the road list at the following link prior to contacting the HOA to check the ownership and maintenance responsibility: http://www.broadlandshoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SnowRemoval.pdf.

    We understand that the VDOT phone lines are overwhelmed as well, but please continue to contact VDOT directly at 703-383-8368. The HOA staff and contractors cannot assist with VDOT owned streets.

    If you find yourself in a true emergency situation, dial 9-1-1.

    Loudoun County Urges Residents to Be Patient as Snow Removal Operations Continue

    Loudoun County officials continue to work with our state and local partners to support snow removal operations. We recognize that many residents are frustrated with plowing operations in their neighborhoods and we ask for patience as crews continue to work to help get people moving again.

    The significant amounts of snowfall have impacted crews’ ability to clear roads as quickly as Loudoun County residents have seen following snowfalls in the past. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has advised that crews continue 24-hour operations in area subdivisions. VDOT and its contractors, who number about 9,600, have about 48,000 miles of subdivision roads to clear in the Northern Virginia District. In many places, we should not expect to see bare pavement for many days due to the volume of snow that has to be removed.

    County officials recognize that many residents are concerned about who is responsible for snow removal on their neighborhood streets. While Loudoun County Government has been doing all it can to support snow removal operations, the county does not plow snow on the vast majority of roads in our community. Here’s some information about who maintains/plows roads:
    • VDOT is responsible for snow removal on state-managed roads. These typically include major roadways, secondary roads and subdivision roads that are not managed privately by homeowners associations (HOAs) or private-contract, such as shopping center lots.
    • The Towns of Purcellville and Leesburg are responsible for plowing town-managed roads within their jurisdictions.
    • HOAs or property-owners typically manage snow removal in residential areas, such as around townhomes, condos, apartments, and on private property.
    • Developers are responsible for a small number of developments that are still under their purview because the roads have not yet been entered into the state system; in these cases, developers have responsibility for removing snow.
    • Loudoun County removes snow from a very small number of streets that are managed by the county government.
    The difficulty of snow removal efforts during this historic snow event has been compounded by a number of other factors. For example, some snow removal equipment that is typically used by contractors on residential streets has proven inadequate for the volume of snow that has fallen. As a result, heavy equipment (that is typically used on major roadways and highways) must be brought in to get the job done, which has delayed the plowing of many residential streets. VDOT crews are working non-stop to clear the 16,000 neighborhood streets in Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William counties. Check for plow progress near your house.

    VDOT advises:
    • Motorists should avoid unnecessary travel as low overnight temperatures likely will result in icy pavement conditions.
    • If residents have a serious emergency (i.e. medical or fire), they should call 9-1-1 and VDOT will work in coordination with emergency responders to get them the help they need.
    • Crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large piles onto driveways, but in an extreme storm it is an unintended consequence of making roads passable.
    Call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at I-800-367-7623 for more information, including plowing and treatment of roadways.

    Loudoun County Encourages Residents to Help Each Other During Recovery Effort

    Loudoun County encourages residents to work together as a community to help clear snow from sidewalks, trails, driveways and parking lots following the historic storm that dumped more than two feet of snow in some areas. In particular, please help neighbors who need assistance due to their physical abilities, health or other conditions.

    While the, homeowners associations, and private contractors are primarily responsible for snow removal, Loudoun County officials recommend that where possible, neighbors, faith communities, and other groups organize shovel brigades to help people safely move around our county again as soon as possible. Please consider helping your neighbors who might be away from home on vacation. With school out Monday through Wednesday, youngsters can take a break from video games and other indoor activities. Those who are lucky enough to own a snow blower could volunteer to share the equipment for a community snow-removal effort.

    As a reminder, please shovel snow with care to avoid injury and over exertion. In addition, the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management suggests residents and clear a three-foot radius around the hydrant, which helps firefighters to quickly spot the hydrant and access it quickly in the event of an emergency.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  5. Luvmybuddog

    Luvmybuddog Member

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    Thank you to the crew plowing Sweet Bay Terrace. It's 10pm and they've been out there almost 3 hours already. They were apologetic (no need to be we know you're busy) and courteous. They could have rushed and done a mediocre job but instead they took the time to work with us on the best way to get our cars out of the way so they could do it right. These guys have been working day and night and I know the folks on our street appreciate them working almost around the clock to dig us out. Please be patient and maybe offer them a bottle of water, a snack or a tip if you are inclined. They've earned it.
     
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  6. pvcv

    pvcv New Member

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    Is there a schedule for coming back to make a larger passable lane?
    We were thinking with the possible rain anticipated this afternoon, it would make the mountains even more solid and more difficult to move.
     
  7. poolabab

    poolabab Resident

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    I have to second that. The plowing crew did a great job on our street yesterday evening. They listened to residents and worked with us to make sure they get it right.
    This is how wide the street is after they were done.
     

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  8. Cav

    Cav New Member

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    Sandhurst ct. off Ridgeway & Engleside waiting for VDOT 's first appearance.
     

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