SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Removing snow from Sioux Falls streets has been an ongoing task since mid-December. Crews are still working around the clock to widen streets and clear boulevards.
Several feet of snow are piled up along city streets from some big storms this winter. And that’s keeping crews busy during all hours of the day.
Riley Blissmer is an equipment operator with Loiseau Construction, which is one of the multiple contractors the City of Sioux Falls hires to help haul snow. He’s working a midnight to 8 a.m. shift this week.
“I like doing the night shift. There’s a lot less traffic, a lot less things to worry about. It’s easier to get around mostly,” Blissmer said.
At the time of shooting this story, it was around 2:00-4:00 a.m. Thursday. Crews have a big snowblower and some semi trucks driving through clearing the snow from city streets, and they’re bringing it to various dumpsites across the city.
“You just look out your mirror, go slow and wait until it starts to overflow, pull ahead, drive to the dumpsite and do it again. We’ll just follow along the list and go street by street until we complete all of it,” Blissmer said.
City of Sioux Falls street operations manager Dustin Hansen says they always have private contractors come in to help.
“We sign on probably anywhere from 10-15 contractors every year. Obviously every year is different, so I think last year we didn’t use the contractors hardly at all. We use them to actually plow the streets and then to help us haul the snow to the snow dumpsites,” he said.
Hansen says the they’ve hauled almost 20,000 total loads to seven different sites across town. In an average year, they typically only use two or three sites.
“We’ve cleared most of our emergency routes throughout the city. We’ve cleared around schools, now we’re working on our secondary routes and then we’ll start to focus on some problem areas that potentially could see some flooding,” Hansen said.
It serves as a reminder to do your part to prevent flooding.
“If you know where your inlet is and you can clear it, make sure that you clear it. Our team’s going to focus on those high priority inlets where we potentially will see some ponding or some flooding, so that’s what our crews are going to be focused on next week,” Hansen said.
It is also a good reminder for residents to keep sidewalks and fire hydrants on your property clear of any snow or ice.