Mayor McDermott comments on “Super Bowl Blizzard” snow removal efforts

admin Mayor's Office, News

Over the past couple of days, I’ve received dozens of complaints about the condition of Hammond streets following the Super Bowl Blizzard.

Many of these complaints were professionally written, legitimate and courteous. Most, however, were not. They were mean spirited attacks against the integrity and work ethic of Hammond’s Public Works employees and about my lack of ability to lead these employees.

I do know that our employees worked hard during the event, and I appreciate their hard work and tireless efforts. Most DPW employees worked Sat through Tuesday, missing Super Bowl weekend activities altogether. Most worked long hours with very little sleep, all while being attacked by residents who don’t have the patience to understand that Hammond is a big city that will take some time to clean after 17″ of snow has fallen.

I do think we could have, and should have, done better in clearing Hammond streets in a more timely manner. I personally feel we were 24 hours later than we should have been. And I have communicated my, and your, frustrations to the supervisors of Hammond Dept of Public Works this morning. It wasn’t a happy meeting, it was one where I vented your frustrations to them, the supervisors who lead the clean-up efforts in Hammond.

In my opinion, given that the worst of the storm ended Monday morning, we should have been done with the entire city by the Wed am rush hour. We were 24 hours later than that 48 hour goal of mine. I promise you that the next time we have a heavy storm, I will more closely supervise our efforts to ensure our shared goals of snow removal are met.

However, please keep in mind that Hammond has over 270 miles of streets in our 24 sq mile city, not including the alleyways (which we also are responsible for). Please consider that these drivers are working hard clearing our streets in a blizzard while we are at home watching the Super Bowl. It’s not fair to them to read what I have read about their work ethic and character.

I just want those of you, who feel we didn’t measure up to your standards for snow removal, to know that we will double down during the next storm to work even harder to regain your trust and faith in your city government.

Thank you,

Mayor Tom McDermott