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Examiner
  • Heavy, wet snow hampers Blue Springs street crews

  • Last week’s winter storm brought dry, fluffy snow to the area. But fast forward five days and the precipitation this time was wet and heavy, causing more problems than just slick roads.

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  • Last week’s winter storm brought dry, fluffy snow to the area. But fast forward five days and the precipitation this time was wet and heavy, causing more problems than just slick roads.
    “(We) advised that we will need to make multiple passes to clear the roads,” said Eric Johnson, Blue Springs city administrator. “The sheer weight of the snow is slowing our plowing efforts.”
    Snow accumulation from Tuesday’s storm in Blue Springs is estimated at more than nine inches, with drifts reaching as much as 12 inches.
    Kim Nakahodo, communications manager for the city of Blue Springs, said the main difference between this storm and last week’s is the wetness. Because the temperature was warmer, the snow fell with more moisture. This made it heavy, weighing down buildings, trees and power lines. The weight caused limbs to fall throughout Blue Springs and thousands of people, mostly around the U.S. 40 and Missouri 7 area, lost power at some point Tuesday.
    “It is definitely a concern,” Nakahodo said Tuesday of the falling tree branches. “When you start to hear that wind howling, you begin to hear the branches cracking. As our crews are working to remove the snow, they are encountering limbs as well. When limbs come down, often, power lines come with them.”
    As with last week’s storm, the city hired private contractors to help with removing snow in the city’s 591 cul-de-sac neighborhoods. This process will take between 24 to 30 hours to complete. In addition, these contractors will remove snow piles created in the middle of the cul-de-sacs by the snow plows. The snow will be lifted from these areas and the excess will be placed on residents’ lawns.
    “The travel is being hampered (by) slick, almost slimy conditions on the roads,” Nakahodo said. “There has also been some drifting and blowing snow the road guys have had to work through. The good thing is that traffic was extremely light, which really helped.”
    Nakahodo said residents should continue parking off the street, giving road crews the opportunity to plow streets curb-to-curb. In addition, she said, it is important for children to not play in snow piles in or near the streets. Snow plow drivers have limited visibility, making it difficult to see children who have created tunnels through the piles.
    “The people I heard who dared to go out on Tuesday, turned around and came back home pretty quickly,” Nakahodo said. “We had reports of power outages, but no road closures. We attribute that to very light traffic from people listening to the warnings and staying home.”
     
     
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