Small snowfalls add up for snow plows

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It is days like this where not enough snow falls to call it a storm. But enough to make the roads slick and to send snow plows and sand trucks out.

"We try to do all the main routes, hills, school, and get that stuff taken care of so traffic can move safely," said Curt Carey, a Supervisor with the Altoona Street and Utilities Department.

"The stuff is slippery right now, basically we can clean this stuff up quick being it's not that much snow," he said.

He says one of their snow plows holds about 36,000 pounds of salt. On a day like this, he says they will use about 2,000 pounds or a little more than 5% in the truck. But that small amount adds up, so efficiency is key.

"We try to keep it to a minimum, it's nice the weather is a little warmer so a little salt is fine and takes care of it," he added.

The city has five trucks and six drivers. He says they have avoided overtime for the most part.

"Everyday we're using additional salt and sand, and it just repeats and it doesn't last one time to clean it up," said Steven Thompson, the Streets and Maintenance Manager in Eau Claire.

Thompson says Eau Claire has gone through about half of its salt for the winter.

"We've went through a little more last week with these winter storms but we are in very good shape for salt right now," he said.

As for overtime, he says there has been some but it is not a significant amount. The one good thing about days like this, the job is mostly cleanup.

"It's not a lot of cleanup after the storm that we encounter in the bigger storms that takes a lot of time to cleanup downtown and hauling snow," he said.

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