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Snow removal continues in City of Niagara Falls, school back in session

“Our workers have been working 16 hour shifts taking their mandatory eight hours off and then coming back in."
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Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 18:11:09-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The snow removal for the City of Niagara Falls continues to be slow. Yet, students returned to in-person learning Wednesday.

According to John Kinney, director of public works, his department has worked tirelessly to clear neighborhoods.

“Our workers have been working 16-hour shifts taking their mandatory eight hours off and then coming back in,” Kinney says. “Once they started hitting the 16, it became very difficult then because of the regulations. We are down drivers in the city for various reasons.”

Kinney says almost eight trucks went down, and his team continues to work hard to get them back up. Workers are working with only four trucks at the moment.

“The mayor and superintendent have been in contact with each other. We also had the DOT come here twice to help us widen some of our main drags,” he says.

Superintendent Mark Laurrie of Niagara Falls School District says he’s working with other city leaders to identify problem areas for students and staff.

“What I am sending to the mayor is that about nine or ten areas in the city that really need attention before tomorrow morning,” Mr.Laurrie says. “He assured me that once he gets our priority list. And our priority list was to derive from bus stops.”

The superintendent says he had half a dozen teachers that couldn’t make it to work while several students were also stuck at home. He says remote learning wasn’t an option.

“To be able to flip a switch and call it a remote day in a city like Niagara Falls without pre-warning is just about impossible,” Mr. Laurrie says. “And unfair to students and staff members that don’t have their equipment at home.”

The public works director says all roads should be clear by the end of the week.