City Crews Battle Storm For 32 Hours - The Missourian: Local News

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City Crews Battle Storm For 32 Hours

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Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 6:00 am

The snow just wouldn’t stop falling over the weekend.

Jack Brinker, street superintendent, said Washington crews were out from 11 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Monday battling the blizzard.

The wind and low temperatures made the work difficult, but the biggest obstacle was that the snow just kept coming, he said.

“We were out there during the whole storm, but we didn’t really gain a lot until the snow stopped,” Brinker said.

Brinker said the main plowing has stopped for now, but some trucks were out Monday afternoon cleaning up side streets and subdivisions that needed extra attention.

“The roads are in fair condition,” he said. “There are some that are ice-packed, but we’ll salt and cinder those as we need to when it gets slick again.”

Brinker cautioned drivers that the roads may not be back to normal for several days.

“With the cold temperatures that we’re having, the roads could be normal by the end of the week if we don’t have any more ice,” Brinker said. “There are some predictions for ice on Friday, so I would say you could have some streets with ice on them until early next week. I might be wrong — it all depends on what the weather does.”

While the big plowing was finished, Brinker said crews were far from done.

“We are still spreading salt and cinders, but we spread salt and cinders during the whole storm,” he said. “But there are certain areas we will have to re-salt and put cinders on. As time goes on, it will thaw out and some spots will be fairly slick again.”

Unlike other storms, Brinker and his crew had several days of advance notice that a big storm was coming. Despite the early preparation, the warning didn’t help all that much when nearly 10 inches fell on the cold and windy weekend.

Brinker said the snowstorm reminded him of the infamous blizzard of 1982.

“It was something like one of the older ones,” he said. “Years ago we had some bad ones, like in ’82, and it was pretty much like that because it was actually a dry-type snow that would blow and drift. It just kept icing over, all day long, it just kept freezing and snowing.”

Brinker said he had two trucks out before the storm hit dropping salt and cinders. Once the snow started to fall, Brinker employed four more two-ton trucks to plow the streets.

In addition to the six two-ton trucks, the city also employed two pickup trucks and two one-ton trucks.

“We ran, total, 10 trucks the whole time,” Brinker said.

Brinker said the bigger trucks tackled the city streets while the smaller ones plowed city parking lots.

“It didn’t go that bad, I guess, considering the way the weather was,” he said.

Brinker said plow drivers were running in 12-hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No outside help was called in, but Brinker said all of the city departments worked on the project.

“It wasn’t just the street department,” he said. “All of the other departments helped.”

Even though some roads may look clean, Brinker still advised drivers to use caution.

“I would advise them to still drive with care,” he said. “You might hit a spot where there might be some ice — on the side streets anyway.”

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