In case you had any questions, or you were getting questions from your constituents, I thought it might be helpful to give you an update of the status of the city’s snow operations.
The central maintenance crews have been running at full capacity for the last 30 hours. Given the rate of snowfall yesterday, the plow trucks really never got a chance to move off of the primary streets. The crews were mobilized around the SR 43, 59 and 261 corridors and as they finished a pass they pretty much had to turn around and start all over again in order to keep the travel lanes passable.
It didn’t help that we had two water main breaks happen during the peak of the storm yesterday and we had to temporarily divert a few employees to make the necessary repairs before returning to their plow routes.
Obviously, with that much attention needed on the primary streets, the residential streets in the neighborhoods did not get much attention. Even the trucks that worked all night long had to stay focused on the main streets, so it wasn’t until this morning that the crews have been able to shift into the residential streets — and that’s where most of them will continue to work all day today and through the night.
As we continue the plowing efforts, residents should not necessarily expect bare pavement conditions, especially in the neighborhoods. The plows try to make sure we have passable travel lanes and that will likely mean driving on hard packed snow until the temperatures warm up and the salt is able to be effective. If we could get some cooperation from Mother Nature and have the sun come out, I think we’d really start to see the hard pack melt off.
We will have a few trucks continuing to go through the main streets in order to clean up the piles of snow that remain in the intersections. At some point soon we will also likely have to offload snow from downtown to another site (the city yard) as there simply is not any place to push it downtown.
We’re in good shape from an equipment and material perspective. The mechanics have done a great job keeping all the trucks operational and we have ample salt to last us through this storm and more. The operators that have completed double shifts are obviously tired, but when I saw them today at lunch they remain in high spirits.
I realize that some residents may be frustrated with the time it took to make our way into the neighborhoods but I wanted to assure you that we’ve been working around the clock to get to their streets as quickly as we can. This was one of those quiet storms that didn’t let up and has nearly our entire region shut down today. It’s been awhile since we’ve had snow like this but hopefully everybody will be patient as we continue to plow our way out today and tomorrow.