Snowstorm makes for hectic first day on the job

Matt Martin
January 2, 2014

There’s always pressure to make a good impression on the first day of a new job.  For many, that might mean a fresh hair cut or a new tie. But today’s snowstorm created a unique first day on the job for one Binghamton official.

Gary Holmes was just appointed head of Binghamton’s Department of Public Works by the new mayor, Rich David. 

“Today is my first official day," said Holmes.  He added that the snowstorm was an unexpected welcome to his new job.

The storm threw Holmes right into his new role as the overseer of the city’s plows and road-clearing operations.

Holmes is standing outside a garage filled with road salt.  It’s cold and the snow has been building up for hours.   He watches a tractor load a couple tons of the salt into the back of a city truck.

Holmes says the garage holds about 600 tons of salt and he expects his drivers to go through about half of that before this storm is over.

Instead of feeling a bit overwhelmed on his first day on the jobs, Holmes is confident in the abilities of his drivers.

“There is a system here.  So all I am trying to do is monitor things and if they need help then I try to get things they need to keep things moving.”

There is a constant flow of trucks in and out of the garage to fit a plow blade or fill up on salt.  15 to 17 trucks are constantly on the streets to keep up with the ever-growing snow. 

Holmes knows this storm could make for a very long first day.

“I am sure we are going to go well into the night and probably right through tomorrow.”