Winter Emergency & Snow Information
The Town's Emergency Management team is activated during emergencies (major snowstorms, hurricanes, floods, or natural/made-made disasters) to provide information and service to Town residents for all storm-related problems, including plow requests, downed trees, and power outages. It is staffed by a knowledgeable team of Municipal departments. Please reference this page and social media feeds for any official town updates.
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General Winter Safety
In preparation for the heavy snowfall, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency offers some key post-storm Safety Suggestions for all citizens to consider.
- Continue to stay off streets and roads to allow plowing operations to proceed smoothly.
- Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
- Avoid parking too close to corners, allowing Public Safety vehicles and plows to maneuver safely.
- Never run your automobile until the exhaust pipe has been cleared of snow.
- Make sure backup generators are well-ventilated.
- Take your time shoveling. Avoid over-exertion.
- Use care around any downed power lines. Assume a down wire is a live wire.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary, and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters, or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses, and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man-made.
For additional information about MEMA and Winter Preparedness, go to the MEMA website.
The Tyngsborough Highway Department is pleased to issue this information to the residents. The intent of this information is to advise Tyngsborough residents of the Highway Department's winter snow plowing and sanding objectives and to obtain your assistance, so that town roads may be restored to "normal conditions" as promptly as possible after a winter storm.
Your cooperation is essential if the Highway Department is to achieve this objective. With your assistance and patience, we are better able to provide road services in a safe and timely fashion. Our main goal during winter maintenance operations is to keep traffic flowing and restore our roadways to safe traveling conditions as soon as possible.
We appreciate and thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Winter Parking Ban
The Town of Tyngsborough requests residents to be mindful of parked vehicles impeding the removal of snow. Parked vehicles impeding the removal of snow may be towed at the resident's expense.
Illegally parked vehicles are the biggest hindrance in our effort to safely and effectively remove snow from the roadway. Questions regarding parking restrictions should be referred to either the Tyngsborough Police Department or to the Tyngsborough Highway Department.
Highway Department hours are Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm. Please feel free to call us at 978-649-2310 or the Police Department, non-emergency line at 978-649-7504.
Snow Plowing Operations
The following is a general description of Tyngsborough's snow removal plan. As you are aware, each storm is different and the Highway Department makes every effort to follow the snow removal policy as closely as possible. The snow and ice removal policy entails 3 steps: the beginning of the snowstorm; during the snowstorm; and following the snowstorm.
Step One - The beginning of the snowstorm
When a snowstorm begins, the Highway Department responds by sanding and salting the main roads, hills, and bus routes. Sanding these roadways serves two purposes - to prevent the snow from bonding and compacting to the pavement and to keep traffic moving. The Town has 8 sanding trucks properly equipped with sanding materials for this operation.
Step Two - During the snowstorm
Plowing operations begin when at least 2 - 3 inches of snow accumulates on the ground. 11 Highway Department vehicles are equipped for plowing and approximately 25 private contractors may be called in to assist with snow removal operations. Each vehicle is assigned to a pre-determined route and will remain in the assigned pattern until the storm subsides.
The main objective during any storm is to keep the roadways passable. At the end of the storm, the plows will begin to widen all roads by pushing back the amassed snow beyond the edge of the roadway. Residents may want to wait until the roads have been widened before clearing the entrance of their driveways.
Please be advised that snow must not be shoveled or plowed "back into the street" from a resident's driveway. As voted at a prior Annual Town Meeting, Tyngsborough Town By-Law, Article 38 states, "No person, other than an employee acting for or in behalf of the Town, shall by himself or herself or through his/her agents, servants or employees, in any manner place or deposit or cause to be placed or deposited any snow, other than incidental amounts thereof, on any public sidewalk, street or way which has been previously cleared of snow by the Town. Violations of this section may be enforced by the Highway Administrator, the Building Inspector, or the Police Department, by non-criminal disposition as provided in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 21D as the same now is or may hereafter amended. Penalties for such violations shall be $50 for the first offense and $100 for each subsequent offense."
The Highway Department staff is well-trained and dedicated to plowing around the clock, if necessary, to keep the roadways open and passable. If a plow truck is riding with its plow up, please do not be misled. They may be returning to the garage for fuel or repairs or might be headed to another section of town to assist with snow removal. Please be advised that Middlesex Road and Pawtucket Boulevard are maintained by Mass Highway Department.
Residents should not be concerned if they do not see their roadway plowed during the early part of a snowstorm. The Highway Department follows an assigned route plan where main roads and hills are plowed first. Please be patient, all town-owned roads will eventually be plowed.
Another area of concern is mailboxes. We do not "deliberately" knock over or damage mailboxes. Remember, an installation within the right-of-way (including mailboxes) is placed there at the owner's risk. Hence, residents are encouraged to place mailboxes at the maximum allowable distance from the pavement. Mailboxes should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are secured properly and that wood posts are not rotted out.
Step Three - Following the storm
Once the snowfall has stopped and all roads are cleared of snow, post-storm sanding and salting commence. All roads are sanded and salted to improve traction and melt the remaining snow and ice.
Residents Can Help
- Residents can assist the Highway Department during a snowstorm by heeding these suggestions:
- Be mindful of parking on roadways during an active storm.
- Reduce your speed and drive cautiously.
- Remain off the road during snow storms unless absolutely necessary.
- Do not allow children to make snow forts at the edge of the road.
- Do not plow, blow, or throw snow back into the roadway.
- Before the final cleanup of your driveway, check the road. If it does not appear to be widened out, a plow will return to plow again and may push snow back into the entrance of your driveway. Doing this might keep you from clearing your driveway more than once.
- Finally, please have patience. Snow plowing is a time-consuming and laborious job covering 80-plus miles of road. Some residents will have their roads plowed first and some will be last, but all town roads will be cleared.
The Highway Department is devoted to providing the residents with dependable snow removal in the shortest time possible. With your cooperation, we will all benefit during a snowstorm.
Residents may pick up free sand at the entrance of the Highway Garage.
If you have any questions concerning the snow removal policy, please call 978-649-2310. We will try to assist you in any way possible. Thank you for your continued cooperation!