By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Snow removal continues in GR

 

David Martin

Tony Guidicatti shovels snow from a stairway leading to Flaming Gorge Way Tuesday afternoon. Residents continue to deal with large amounts of snow nearly a week after a snowstorm dumped about 20 inches of snow on Green River. So far, the winter storms since November have dumped a total of 67.8 inches of snow on the city. The city's average yearly snowfall, according to the National Weather Service, is 32.2 inches.

It's been about a week since 20 inches of snow dumped on Green River and the city is still trying to dig the community out.

Streets supervisor Randy Koloff said this past Thursday and Friday were just really hard on the crew, the equipment and residents alike.

"There's more snow than we can handle," Koloff admitted.

The city has a snow-removal plan it uses and was in the process of following this plan when they had to stop what they were doing and start clearing staging areas for vehicles stranded on Interstate 80, public works director Mark Westenskow said.

"Every storm is different," Westenskow said.

The streets crew was able to respond so well to the second big storm, but this third one was different. Instead of clearing priority streets, including Uinta Drive, Riverview Drive, Flaming Gorge Way, Astle Avenue, Second South, Monroe Avenue and the school zones, the city was asked to help clear up some emergencies taking place on I-80, which was pretty much shut down by the storm.


Another problem that occurred was one of the city's four snow plows broke down Thursday. The city was also having problems with its vehicles getting stuck.

"Our trucks aren't able to get around just like theirs," Koloff said.

"When we lose one in middle of storm that does have an impact," Westenskow said.

When one plow goes down, it forces the remaining three snow plows to take over portions of that route. Koloff said the city is divided up into four areas and each snow plow has its own area to cover.

"We can only do what we have the means to do," Koloff said.

On Monday another snow plow broke down, leaving the city to try and keep up with the snow removal with only two trucks.

"We're going to get to the residential streets," Koloff said. "We know we've got a lot of upset citizens out there we're trying deal with it."

Koloff wanted to encourage residents to try and keep the snow they shovel off of their driveways and sidewalks in their yards.

When the snow is pushed out into the street, it just causes more problems. This just adds more snow to the streets that are already filled to capacity.

"There's so many piles in the streets," Koloff said. "It's hard on everybody this year."

He said if residents are going to make snow piles, make sure it's not on top of a drain. This will just cause more problems when the snow starts to melt.

Koloff wanted to let residents know that when the snow plows come through, they are not purposely pushing snow onto already shoveled sidewalks, they simply have no choice. They have to get the snow removed from the street.

As for the streets budget, Westenskow said it's pretty much gone.

"This is going to take it right to the wire on this one," Westenskow said. "We're pretty close to what was limited."

Of course, the first priority is snow removal and when the snow melts the city will start filling potholes.

 

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