Snow Job

John Loveless uses a front-end loader to clear the piles of snow in front of his and other businesses along the east side of South Main Street Wednesday afternoon. About 9 or 10 inches of snow fell in the St. Clair area last weekend, and it took crews and individuals days to get streets, parking areas and driveways cleared.

While Sunday’s major snowstorm that plowed through this area may have halted mail deliveries on Monday, it didn’t stop Washington refuse and recycling crews from making their rounds.

The heavy snow-packed streets did cause trash collection crews to “run a little behind,” but recycling pickups were “pretty well on schedule,” said City Administrator Jim Briggs.

Briggs said he recalls that in the last 37 years that he’s worked for the city, crews missed picking up trash only once. That was during a massive snowstorm in the early 1980s.

“They did a great job,” Briggs said of the trash workers. “I was very proud of those guys.”

Briggs said the city doubled up on shaggers — workers who pick up trash and throw it in the back of the packer trucks — so they had a chance to take breaks, rest and get warm.

“We added a shagger on each truck,” said Jack Brinker, street superintendent, who also is in charge of refuse pickups.

“It’s very hard work,” Brinker remarked. “They had to crawl through the snow to get to the cans. It takes a lot of effort.

“And it was very cold Monday on top of the heavy snow,” Brinker added.

He said that Washington was one of only a few trash haulers that provided service Monday, based on activity at the city’s landfill.

Briggs also praised city workers for pitching in on clearing streets.

Mayor Sandy Lucy expressed appreciation for the work crews did during a very difficult storm.

“They did an outstanding job,” Lucy remarked at this week’s city council meeting.

Lucy said city workers show “a lot of pride” in their work and remarked that it was a hard job clearing main streets to keep them open for emergency vehicles.

After clearing main streets, crews concentrated on widening side streets and subdivision streets.

They also began the task of removing large snow piles from locations and hauling them to the riverfront.