Springfield DPW turns to technology to battle storms - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield DPW turns to technology to battle storms

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You could say Western Mass has a case déjà vu.

No matter where you look, there's more white stuff covering our roads, rooftops, vehicles and just about everywhere outdoors.

The consistent storms hitting the area have drained the pockets of many Department of Public Works crews from across the region.

Vinny Desantis is the deputy director of operations for Springfield DPW. He said his crew has also reached their budget limit.

"We've also exceeded our winter budget too. It's been quite a winter," said Desantis.  

For the past couple of months it's been a repeat of filling up plows and sending them out on the roads.

"I think our first event was December and we haven't stopped since," said Desantis.  

A massive garage sits in the back of the DPW Headquarters. It holds thousands of pounds of salt, but now it has quickly dwindled down.

However, Desantis said the department is still in good shape.

"We had quite a bit of salt and I just ordered more," explained Desantis.  

It's not just the salt the department is using to control the storms. They also rely on technology to clear open paths along city roads for drivers.

Bob Houldson works for the department's information technology. He said the department has a screen that projects 42 cameras that are set up throughout Springfield to help crews monitor the roads.

"We can take a look at the streets and get a good idea of what's going on," said Houldson.

Houldson also monitors a smart board to track down trucks and routes that need plowing.

"As they move in the road, we move them on the board," said Houldson. 

The department said bringing snow removal into modern day technology allows them to stay one step ahead of Thursday's storm and any more that follow.

"We'll be in good shape. We'll finish up around 12 a.m. and then reassess tomorrow," said Desantis.

Some DPW trucks also come equip with iPads so drivers can see which roads their coworkers are covering and which roads need plowing.

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