The Blizzard of 2015 was the biggest January storm in Boston’s history and the sixth biggest on record — 24.6 inches of snow. Shoveling and hauling it away is the job of Boston’s Public Works Department, so I hopped a ride with a DPW worker for a passenger seat view of the cleanup.

Norman Parks, a 27-year veteran of the Department of public works, had been working for 36 hours helping to supervise the massive snow cleanup.

"We were on the road in the midst of the storm," Parks says.

After catching a few winks on a very worn-out couch at the Frontage Road depot in Southie, Parks was directing snowplow operators who were trying to keep up with the pace of the rapidly falling white fluff.

“I have impassable conditions on Huntington Avenue” he says into a two-way, and on the other end someone replies: “We’re taking care of that right now, sir.”

On Monday, as people were stocking up on food and supplies amidst a steady stream of dire forecasts, DPW salt-and-sand trucks were already out in force.

“We have 250 sanders that will be out treating the road this afternoon to get us through the evening commute," DPW Commissioner Mike Dennehey. "At 8:00 we will administer the other 600 pieces of equipment, plowing equipment. I praise the mayor for the snow emergency so that by 8:00 we can get our plowing equipment out and get threes roads cleared curb to curb. Overnight is going to be a monumental task with inches per hour coming down. The fact that we have this equipment out early should put us at an advantage. We have a good team in place and we’ve got plenty of materials on sight and we’ll see what tonight brings us but the Public Works Department is very prepared for what’s to come.”

Norman Parks is one of the DPW workers represented by those numbers. So is Danny Nee, a DPW supervisor.

“It’s just a matter of opening up some of these side streets. The main thoroughfares are pretty much plowed," Nee says. "You’re not going to see bare pavement except on the hills where we’re still using salt. The side streets, they obviously get a little tighter. So it could take some time to get those where we like them — down to bare pavement."

Sitting in his spartan office, Nee takes a break from the phones to talk about some of the problems his crew has encountered trying to clear Boston streets.

“Every neighborhood has problem areas," he says. "Beacon Hill, Charlestown, and South Boston — the amount of vehicles parked. South End, Bay Village, spots in Hyde Park and West Roxbury, which seem to be more rural — lots of hills and turns. Every neighborhood poses a unique challenge.”

I asked Nee if he had advice for people heading out into the streets Thursday.

“The bikes scare me," he says. "I don’t like the bikes. I try to stay away from them. But the rest of the people, they’re aware of us. They get out of our way. They give a wave. Just stay out of the way. Let us clear the streets. Try if you can not to shovel out your vehicle until we’re able to go by a few times.”

That’s something Norman Parks experiences firsthand as well. Driving carefully down Mass. Ave, he sees a man with a snow blower blowing the snow from the sidewalk into the street.

Norman gets out to speak with the man, who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s in violation of a city ordinance and subject to a fine. It doesn’t make his job any easier.

“No, it creates a hazard," Parks says. "It creates a hazard when you pile snow back into the street. It’s causing ice patches and big mounds for people that slide or skid. It causes injuries, even severe injuries.”

Norman continues driving down Mass Ave. Transit cops flag him down with an important question on a day like this: "Do you know anything open to eat, a place to eat?”

Norman knows where to find something to eat when just about every place is closed, and he knows the city’s streets. Boston has 850 miles of them. Most of the main ones have been plowed. But there are many to go: Side streets in Southie, Roxbury, Charlestown, Brighton, Back Bay. So he gets on the two-way to direct salt trucks, sanders and snow removal. And Norman, like hundreds of other DPW men and women, gets ready for the next storm, when they’ll have to do this all over again.