SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — This winter storm ran the gamut from rain, to ice, to wet, slushy snow, followed by fluffy, wind-swept snow. That combination has presented challenges to Sioux Falls crews clearing city streets. The approach of New Year’s Eve is also factor in the snow removal process.
City plows have to make repeat visits to some neighborhoods in Sioux Falls where strong winds have caused the snow to re-drift.
“I think we’ve had gusts up to 40 miles-an-hour and really impact a street or a road. So there’s some residential areas that are getting some drifting so emergency routes that are getting a little bit of drifting, so just be cautious of that,” City of Sioux Falls Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen said.
Repair crews have been busy in the city shop, replacing cutting edges on the plow blades, which have been worn-down by ice underneath the snow.
“It’s hard to cut that ice off and they have to put a little more pressure on it to get that ice cleared off, if they can. Then they put salt and sand on it and that acts as an abrasive and wears the cutting edges off quite quickly,” Fleet Management Lead Mechanic Brian Rye said.
City crews want to remove snow as quickly as possible from the downtown area because plenty of New Year’s Eve revelers will be converging there Tuesday night.
“Obviously, downtown’s going to be a busy place New Year’s Eve, probably early evening into the late night so we want those streets to be cleared and we don’t want people to have to walk in big piles of snow and we want our downtown area to get a lot of business,” Hansen said.
It’s better to ring in the New Year with a flurry of confetti rather than a blanketing of snow.
City crews will pick-up snow in the downtown area starting at 1 a.m. Tuesday. So you’ll want to move your cars before you go to bed tonight, or risk a ticket and a tow.