Keeping the roads cleared
Five to 6 inches of snow blanketed Washington County overnight, according to the National Weather Service of the Quad Cities.
Washington County engineer Jacob Thorius said crews from the county have been out since early this morning.
“Right now we’re working on all the hard-surface routes and getting the shoulders cleaned,” Thorius said. “Listening to radio traffic we’ll probably be out around noon working on the gravel roads.”
Thorius is concerned with the windy conditions when it comes to clearing gravel roads.
“The problem with the gravel roads is if the wind continues to blow and we go out and plow them—the blowing snow will blow those roads shut again,” he said, “and they’ll be even worse than before.”
When asked if he thought this winter was worse than others Thorius said he hasn’t really kept track but probably.
“Yeah, I think we’ve probably had a little more of a winter this year,” he said. “Maybe a little worse than last year, I would say.”
According to Thorius the county has used 1,200 tons of salt this winter.
“We’ve got plenty left,” he said. “The county’s storage unit at full capacity holds 3,000 tons and we had some left over from previous winters. We’ve used a little over half this year.”
Thorius asks for people’s patience during this time.
“We’re working around the county to get the roads cleared off,” he said. “Also, if you’re plowing your driveway please don’t push it across the street, especially if it’s upwind. This causes safety issues for our drivers and the wind will blow that snow around.”
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the city has used more salt this winter than previous years.
“I would say we’re definitely above average,” he said. “Of course, we cooperate with the county and get our material through the county.”
The city has also seen an increase in hours from its maintenance staff.
“We have 800 hours in on snow removal from last year to this year,” Hinson said, “which probably is not atypical but last winter we didn’t have as much snow.”
City workers began snow removal early this morning, Hinson said. A snow emergency was declared for the city through Friday at noon, he said.
“I just think the main thing is to have patience,” Hinson said. “We’re working to get the streets cleared and hope to get people’s cooperation with parking off of the street.”
Hopefully tonight the square will be cleared, Hinson said. He asks for residents who live along the square not to park there this evening so the city could get it cleaned up.