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Street Dept. Revs Up For Snow, Wind

December 3, 2013, 5:54 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Street Dept. Revs Up For Snow, Wind

The Sioux Falls Street Department spent the morning getting ready for a December blast of winter weather.

"In order for us to stay ahead of it and keep the roads safe, I probably have to gear up tonight (Tuesday), but certainly at midnight I'll have the big shift coming in. We're probably looking at contractors and depending on the amounts and stuff like that, potential of maybe a snow alert on this one too," Street Utility Manager Galynn Huber said.

While the heavy equipment will make its way around traffic to make sure the streets are safe, Huber says it's easier for crew members to operate the equipment in the overnight hours.

"At night, it's very calm out there. There isn't a lot of traffic going on and we can move through the streets pretty easily without interrupting a lot of people out there," Huber said.

Crews plan to use chemicals to help keep intersections from becoming slippery, but with a storm system like this one that includes wind, that can be a slippery slope.

"When we start putting down chemicals, that chemical starts to melt that snow and when it blows it starts to stick to the road rather than blowing across the road," Huber said.

So Huber says that's an aspect that will be carefully watched, but there is at least one thing working in the crews' favor.

"We're getting some melting happening just because of the pavement temperatures, so that's helping us out a little bit," Huber said.

With colder weather ahead, that benefit is expected to be temporary. That's why operators have their equipment ready for this snow and much more still ahead this season.

If enough snow falls, the Street Department plans to dispatch six snow gates across the town, but it is still not determined exactly where those will go.

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