SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The storm has passed but cleanup is far from complete.
“It’s going to be a massive undertaking to get this town cleaned up,” Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen said.
An industrial-sized snow blower is making quick work of a pile of snow stretching multiple blocks on 12th street.
“Between side dumps and tandem trucks we probably have 70 trucks running on this shift,” Hansen said.
Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen says this is the biggest winter cleanup he’s seen in his four years on the job.
“We could approach 5,000 loads because we’ve got to pick up more than just downtown the back of curb, we might even go into some secondary routes to pick up snow and potentially some residential streets, depending on how bad they are,” Hansen said.
“It’s just time consuming, everything takes so, so much longer,” Equipment Operator Brian Rypkema said.
Brian Rypkema is behind the wheel of the snow blower, leading the parade of side dump trucks.
“Usually there’s maybe one in line but most of the time not even that, and I think I have ten tonight hauling for me,” Rypkema said.
When it comes to filling a truck, they can do a dump truck in a matter of seconds. As for a side dump, less than a minute.
“We timed it last night, 55 seconds for a side dump,” Rypkema said.
“It takes them longer to get to the snow dump sites because once they’re at the sites it takes them less than a minute to get dumped and back on the road,” Hansen said.
It’s a scenario that will play out over and over in the weeks to come, for crews that have already been on 24/7 since mid-December.
“Tired. We’re ready for a break (laugh), which I don’t think is anywhere in sight. Ready for a weekend off,” Rypkema said.
If the city hits 5,000 loads during this cleanup, that’s more than four times the number produced during the winter storm in early December.