Below you will find a letter from Council President Sonya Sanders regarding last weekend’s winter storm:
The winter storm that hit the area on the weekend of January 22-24 has had an immense impact on the lives of those who live and work in Norristown. According to National Weather Service, we received up to 30 inches of snow in a little over 48 hours. This has been a historic snowfall for many people, with numerous businesses and schools districts throughout the region still closed due to hazardous road conditions.
The Municipality of Norristown, like many other local governments in the area, is currently in the process of recovering from this major and historic snowstorm. Norristown must overcome a set of obstacles unique to our community that have hindered our ability to quickly clear the roads. These obstacles include: numerous narrow streets, significant amounts of on-street parking, an extremely hilly landscape, no mandated off-street parking, and a lack of enforceable snow emergency routes.
Nevertheless, the municipality was not fully prepared. For that, I am sorry and accept responsibility but Norristown government will improve our performance going forward.
We heard your outcries, valid concerns, documented complaints, and have heard feasible suggestions to assist us when the situation arises again. The blizzard of Jonas has taught the Municipality of Norristown valuable lessons learned to improve preparation, resources, and proper equipment for Norristown residents.
Going forward, you will see your Municipal Council act swiftly and with purpose to implement better policies for emergency management response, including contracting additional work crews, and investing in the necessary equipment and resources to support operations. Tonight Council will be debriefed by our management team in order to be better prepared for a listening and solutions session with the community at Tuesday night’s Council Meeting.
I understand the frustrations of our residents and the entire council and municipal staff ask for your continued patience during this slow, yet necessary, process of ensuring that our roadways are safe and traversable.
As with any period of adversity, and we recognize that many in our community continue to experience hardship due to this storm, now is the time for true leadership.
As President of the Municipal Council, the official spokesperson of Norristown’s governing body, with the collective support of Council and the entire administrative staff of the Municipality, I assure you that we are doing everything we can to resolve the issues facing our residents as quickly as possible.
I once again ask for your patience as we continue the recovery process.
Sonya D. Sanders, Council President