Eau Claire prepares for winter with falling temps, snow flurries

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- "It is cold and considering how it was yesterday, I think it makes it a little colder," said Patty Henry, who was in downtown Eau Claire on Monday.

Chances are you felt a little like her. Cold, and wondering about the winter weather around the corner.

"Drove to the Twin Cities today and it was almost white out," she said.

And it is those type of days ahead that Eau Claire is getting ready for.

"We start back in September and October prepping our equipment," said Brian Amundson, the city's Public Works Director.

He says trucks are ready to go and the salt dome is filled with 2,000 tons of rock salt. It is ordered three times during the year, before October, during winter, and a reserve fill if necessary.

He says because of last year's winter, there was no need to order salt this fall.

He says about $200,000-$300,000 is spent on salt each year, so will be the case in 2013.

"Snow removal we do in January, February and March also has to be sufficient money for November and December for next year," he added.

And this year, Hastings Way, which was not salted last winter, will be salted again.

"We're going to be using a Brine solution on the road so it's not as rough as the Chlorine on some of the roads," Amundson added.

He says the city will follow what is called the three inch guideline when the first big snowfall hits. City streets are divided into primary, secondary, and local residential streets.

Primary streets are plowed right away, secondary streets that go by businesses, schools and churches are plowed after an inch. And residential streets are plowed after about three inches of snow accumulates.

"It's not the goal to remove all the snow, there will be snow on the residential streets," he added.

He says 30 to 40 people do that job after a big snowfall. A lot of logistics and planning, most of us still trying to wrap our mind around winter.

"It's just that every year it's kind of a mental preparation and I'm still getting there," Henry added.


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