Digging out from snow storms in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – City street crews in Klamath Falls are digging out from a series of storms that dropped about a foot of snow.

Klamath Falls Street Division crews have been clearing snow from about 150 miles of roadway.

Priorities are outlined in a regularly updated snow plan.

“We’ll be focusing on the higher elevations, schools, and the hospital area.”  Explains Public Works Director Mark Willrett.  “And then working our way down to the lower elevations.”

In congested areas, the snow is plowed into the center of the road.

“We try to get it away from the gutter plates for drainage.”   Notes Willrett.  “Also for trying to load the snow out.”

“We put it in the center because we have machinery to pick up and haul it off to a storage area.”  Adds Street Division Manager Chuck Cox.

Removing the center berm is done late at night, or early in the morning to ease the impact on traffic.

But once the snow is gathered up, it can’t just be dumped into a lake or river, due to environmental concerns.

“We haul it off close to where the wastewater treatment plant is.”  Willrett explains.  “We have a vacant lot out there, and that’s where most of the snow goes.”

“It’s kind of centrally located to what we’re hauling off.”  Points out Cox.  “So it’s short truck times, and a little more efficient for us.”

A storm can translate into long days for snow plow operators.

And Cox says he’s pleased with his crew.  “I’m very proud of them.”

Here’s a link to an executive summary of the city’s snow plan:  klamathfalls.city/DocumentCenter/View/551/2019-Snow-Plan-PDF

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