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Petersburg braces for snow response with slimmer budget

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg crews are geared up for the big snow, a process they said that began back in the fall despite citywide budget cuts.

"Preparation began back in October with testing equipment, greasing snow plows,” said Daniel Harrison, Interim Public Works Director.

Primary roads will be the first target of snow plows, starting with those attached to pickup trucks.

"It will be between six and 10 crews and we will have the larger trucks, we have about five to six larger trucks,” Harrison said.

His department staffing is down by almost 40 percent, after 10-percent pay cuts were implemented last year.

VDOT will provide extra help clearing roads.

“It allows us to provide if resources became an issue, not only money, so it's kind of like they've contracted to us,” Harrison said.

Another concern amid this storm is public safety.

The Petersburg Fire Department’s ambulance is out of service again, for the third time since mid-December.

“They’ve had some trouble with their medic units and we're working together to make sure the citizens get their coverage,” said Bubby Bish, Southside Virginia Emergency Crew.

They will add a third and fourth ambulance during the snow storm.

"Well, I think it’s necessary to relocate our vehicles throughout the city, all four vehicles will not be here at the crew building,” Bish said.

Both plow crews and the two additional ambulances will have crews working 12- hour shifts.