Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, December 18 2012 at 5:14 PM, Updated: Tue, December 18 2012 at 5:29 PM
40 inches of snow...that's how much snow Klamath Falls gets in an 'average' year.
Recent storms have provided a seasonal 'tune-up' for snow plows, and drivers.
Chuck Cox of the Klamath Falls Street Division didn't send out everything he had during recent snow storms...
"With the little bit of snow that we got, we've been very cautious with throwing too much out."
In fact, a city snow plan calls for plowing of residential streets only when there's 4 inches or more of snow, to help stretch a limited budget.
"There's a lot of people that, they don't appreciate it or understand it." Notes Cox. "But we had to set priorities, and the priorities are basically the hospital, the schools, hilly areas, the downtown core."
Road crews have also been busy on icy highways. Lieutenant Jason Westfall of the Oregon State Police points out that some sections of highway in Klamath County are trickier than others...
"97 north of town, up above Collier State Park - that area has quite a few crashes in the wintertime, more than it should. And the other is the traffic safety corridor on Highway 140 west."
Westfall adds that there are three keys to help ensure a safe trip...
"We need to make sure we leave plenty of time to get to our destination. Make sure we leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and make sure you're just going a little slower."
Klamath Falls began developing their snow plan several years ago. You'll find a link to a copy of that plan on the main page of the city of Klamath Falls web site: www.ci.klamath-falls.or.us
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.