Crews work to keep streets clear of snow during last week’s storm
Baldwin saw more snow last week than it has gotten in a quite a few years. Despite the several inches of snow, Utility Director Terry McKinney said, city crews were able to treat and clear streets with relatively few problems.
"We were well prepared," McKinney said. "I think we've done a pretty good job at keeping the streets open. The guys have worked some long hours in the past few weeks, and they've done a good job."
He said the city had prepared for possible winter storms in December, checking plows and other equipment, as well as maintaining a full supply of salt and sand.
So when the snow began falling late last Wednesday, he said, crews were ready, and out pretreating streets and intersections with salt and sand. The snow plows returned during the overnight hours and continued clearing streets until late Thursday morning when, McKinney said, crews could no longer compete with the heavy snows.
"It was hard to keep up," he said. "We tried to keep the streets open, but it was snowing too much. So we decided to wait until evening when the snow had quit. That night, we brought crews back out and worked all night."
One problem the plows encountered that made their jobs a little more difficult, he said, were the vehicles parked along the emergency snow route along Eighth Street.
"We had approximately 25 vehicles that were not moved," he said. "It made it very difficult to get Eighth Street cleaned."
He said when the city received two or more inches of snow, vehicles parked along the snow route must be moved until the street is cleared of snow.
"We haven't had much snow for so long, I think people have forgotten it's a snow route," he said. "But we could sure use some help there."
Despite having to dodge vehicles in the snow route, McKinney said, crews got streets relatively clear by the following day.
"By noon the next day, we had everything in pretty good shape," he said.
Last week's storm wasn't the first time this winter crews were dispatched to treat streets.
"The guys have worked a lot of hours," McKinney said. "With just the last three snowfalls, they've worked 200 to 250 man hours of snow removal and salting and sanding streets."