Despite Hurricane Sandy picking up steam, the Melrose Department of Public Works is "on schedule" with trash pickup on Monday, according to DPW Director John Scenna.
It's all hands on deck for the DPW, as several dozen employees are working on projects related to Hurricane Sandy, including trash pickups.
"...Given the declared state of emergency, our entire department is working today. Our operations, facilities, engineering and administration groups are all in and working on various storm-related preparations and responses," Scenna said, adding that 65 people on staff will be handling issues throughout the city, it’s infrastructure, tree canopy and within school and municipal buildings. "Trash, recycling and yard waste collections from Monday routes are in the process of being completed on schedule; storm gratings, catch basins and low-lying areas are being carefully monitored and are being kept clear of debris; we are monitoring all our sewer and water pump stations to make sure emergency systems are working and all operating levels are normal.
"We are monitoring all emergency equipment in buildings/facilities throughout the city...to be as prepared as possible in the event of a power outage; and our park and forestry crews are in the final stages of preparations and are ready to respond to emergencies as they are reported."
The Tremont Street facility will be open all day Monday for drop off of yard waste, brush and recyclables, according to Scenna.
Since Thursday the DPW has worked ahead of the storm by preparing and performing preventive tasks such as the cleaning of storm water systems; tree trims and removals and equipment preparations, according to Scenna.
"Weekend shifts were also put in place to continue our preparations. At this point, we are close to shifting to a response type of operations and will remain in this mode (throughout) the storm," Scenna said. "We do urge residents to remove empty barrels and bins from the curb; and to keep an eye on drainage catch basins and keep them clear by removing leaves from the top of them and not into them."
Based on forecasts monitored by the city, Scenna expects the heaviest rain to take place between noon and midnight. "We anticipate the majority of our issues in this time frame," he added.
Melrosians experiencing issues with flooding, drainage or other DPW-related issues can contact the department at 781-665-0142. Power outages should be directed to the Fire Department at 781-665-1313.