Residential snow removal to follow regular street cleaning schedule.

Residential snow removal to follow regular street cleaning schedule.

The snow removal crew laboring to clear the streets of Devils Lake following the Christmas Day blizzard was sent home after lunch Wednesday for a well-needed rest.
According to Myron Asleson who heads the Public Ways department for the city of Devils Lake, the heavy equipment operators had been working for over 14 hours without a break and nobody wants an accident or injury because of exhaustion.

The downtown area of Devils Lake, for the most part, is cleared - it took three days just to clear downtown, Asleson said.
They can’t just push the snow aside with road graders, like they normally would, because of the sheer volume of snow.
Jeff Frith from the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board says he measured 14.5 inches following the storm. Others put that at 18 inches, or 12 inches, depending on where you live in the region.

Residential areas
Asleson assures residents that they will be tackling the residential areas with gusto starting today. To help them in this huge challenge he asks that residents move their cars off the streets.

They will be following the regular snow removal schedule: Streets will be cleared Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday. Avenues will be cleared Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
It could take a while, he added. All snow has to be cleared, loaded into trucks and then transported out to the growing wall of snow that lines the Soo Railroad tracks along NE 10th Street near Ruger Park.

Because there is so much snow, if a vehicle is left parked on a given street or avenue, Asleson says they may have to skip clearing that block altogether until a much later date because there simply isn’t room to maneuver the large machinery around a parked vehicle.

Parking lots in the downtown area have been cleared and might serve as a temporary location for residents to park their vehicles until their streets or avenues are cleared. Be mindful, however, that those lots are signed with the days they are scheduled to be cleaned, too. Your vehicle should not just be left there for an extended period of time. Check the signs before leaving your vehicle in any parking lot.

Starting with mailboxes
Today the plan is to start on the West Side and to clear all areas with mailboxes, especially, so the postman can have access to deliver.
 Asleson said he and his crew are doing the best they can under the circumstances and asks for patience from residents. This task could take three weeks to a month to complete.

More snow?
He is worried that another significant snow event threatening this weekend could “lock up this whole town.”
“If we get another six to eight inches and a steady 20 mile an hour wind this weekend, before we’re done clearing the streets, we could see this whole town locked up solid,” he said.
That would take much longer to clean up.
But he hopes that doesn’t happen.

The past several winters have seen significantly less snow in this region, however, Asleson points out so far this winter and all the snow the region has already received is much like the winters we remember as children in the 1960s.