By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
Clean up crews are working diligently to get streets in Clinton back to normal after a major winter storm on Saturday and Sunday dumped approximately 6 inches of snow on the region.
Several Clinton street workers and solid waste employees were dispatched early Saturday morning to prepare for the snow storm, and to remove patches of remaining ice that had accumulated overnight Thursday and early Friday.
According to Grounds and Facility Superintendent Tom Krogman the majority of the ice had been removed prior to Saturday’s snowfall, but some areas took more time to get cleared.
“During a snow emergency, the main snow routes and the main streets are always the first to be done. We stay on those until the event stops,” Krogman said. “There’s nothing really that we could do to prepare, it’s pretty much reaction. Aside from issuing the snow emergency early, to get cars off the snow emergency routes, there’s not a lot we can prepare for.”
Saturday’s storm accumulated 5.8 inches of snow in the 24-hour period, the most snow the area has received in a 24-hour period since a storm on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, 2011 that accumulated 9.8 inches, Clinton-area weather observer Jim Blaess said.
Because of the rate at which the storm hit the area, many local residents frantically searched for rescue with ice and snow melt to keep sidewalks and driveways safe for travel.
However, many local retailers were completely sold out of the ice-melting chemical by Friday.
“We were sold out of it by Friday night,” Hy-Vee store manager Chris DeSaulniers said. “We received some late Saturday afternoon but we were out again by Sunday morning.”
Local business owner Pat Determan, of Lyons Filling Station, also saw a major rush for sidewalk salt, and said he did everything he could to keep up with the demand.
“I had some on the shelf and thought ‘well, I better get some more in.’ I got a box in early Friday morning and it was gone by 8 a.m.,” Determan said. “Someone actually came in wanting to buy my salt and pepper shakers.”
Although retailers and street crews had trouble staying ahead of the storm, the Clinton Police Department left its winter storm troubles behind on Friday.
Dozens of traffic accident calls kept officers busy Friday during the hazardous ice storm, but according to Capt. James Klaes, Saturday’s snow storm didn’t affect the department nearly as much as Friday’s.
“With that type of weather we usually figure a lot of our calls will be storm related,” Klaes said. “People of Clinton did a really good job of staying off the streets so the streets got cleared as fast as they could.”
The cleanup will continue for about another day, said Krogman, and although there is more snow expected for Christmas Day, he feels confident all the streets will be cleared by then.
“In an event like this it usually takes us about a day to get all caught up,” Krogman said. “So, by the end of (Monday) we should be pretty well caught up.”