The winds finally died down Friday allowing Sioux Falls crews to make good progress cleaning snow off city streets. Most residential streets are now clear, as the focus shifts to snow pickup after midnight.
Sioux Falls plow operators' round-the-clock task of clearing wind-swept streets veered from the white-out of blowing snow, to the darkness of overnight, to the much-welcomed brightness of daytime.
"It's so nice to have the sun come out and help activate the chemicals and start to see some melting," Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.
Plows no longer running headlong into stiff winds are finishing passes through neighborhoods after being bogged down Thursday making sure emergency routes were clear.
"And when it's blowing that much, you can make one pass and by the time you get back to it, you've got to do it again," Cotter said.
The winds were a menacing obstacle even to hardened crews accustomed to battling winter storms.
"This is very unique. I haven't seen it blow this hard and really present some of the early challenges like we had here," Cotter said.
But it's not all smooth sailing in the absence of wind. Plow operators have to steer clear of parked cars, meaning streets can't get the curb-to-curb treatment until the snowbirds move. Winds are expected to kick up again over the weekend, but the city expects the snow to stay put.
"It's a relatively wet snow and so it's actually packing in there and so if we do get some wind tomorrow without snow, I think we're going to be just fine," Cotter said
City plows will hit east-west streets in Zone 2, the core neighborhoods of Sioux Falls, starting at 8:00 p.m. Friday. Then trucks will haul away snow from downtown streets after midnight.
If you think sanders still need to hit your street, you can call the street department hotline at (605) 367-8255.