Grand Island streets department continues clean up efforts

Local4 News at 5
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:52 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Snow is piling up throughout the Tri-Cities and city officials in Grand Island proved they were ready. Street Superintendent Shannon Callahan says a lot of her teams readiness actually came before the storm with maintenance check-ups on their equipment.

Even though the snow came later than expected, crews started plowing around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Once the snowfall reached three inches, they also started plowing residential areas. On Thursday afternoon, crews tended to cul-de-sac areas in town, but during the storm - they had to work on the fly.

“Really early on we thought we were going to get snow right from the start early morning,” Callahan said. “It actually turned out to be some freezing rain, freezing drizzle, so we had ice to deal with right away, that was a challenge.”

Callahan says because of the unexpected delay, the winter storm was a mental challenge, but it allowed them to treat the road with salt prior to snowfall. It also allowed them to keep an eye on the local forecast.

“A lot of looking at the radar and really digging into the forecast to see what is coming at you,” said Callahan. “You just try to make the best decision you can at the time. A good thing that happened yesterday is we had everybody here first thing in the morning.”

Callahan says having everyone on site allowed them to easily adjust to the change in weather. They also made sure they had the materials needed to withstand a strong winter system.

“We use just straight salt or salt with some other additives to it,” said Callahan. “We have enough on hand. We’ve been getting loads in for a while now trying to make sure our salt bin is as full as possible.”

Callahan says all five trucks that were out treating the streets. They did have some equipment issues, but they were minor issues that were quickly fixed. With the upcoming weather forecasted to be around or below freezing, the snow might hang around a bit.

“A lot of it will depend on what the weather does in the following days,” said Callahan. “If we get a day where we get a lot of sunshine, after a snowfall and it warms up a fair amount, that return to normal is less time than if we stay in these low temperatures.”

Callahan says if temperatures stay low the city can only continue treating with salt, but normally clean up time could take anywhere between 36 to 48 hours.