Cities Escape Snow Without Major Damage
Public Works Directors say strong winds presented biggest challenge.
Public Works departments for the cities of Kirkwood and Webster Groves did not report any major damage as a result of Saturday night and Sunday morning's snowstorm.
"There were a few street signs knocked down overnight, but we got those taken care of," Kirkwood Public Works Director Todd Rehg said.
Strong winds presented the biggest challenge in combating the snowfall, Webster Groves Public Works Director Paul Verheyen said.
"The problem was the blowing snow, and the fact that it continued to snow throughout the evening," Verheyen said. "We would go make a return trip two or three hours later, and there would be another inch on the ground."
Kirkwood Public Works Director Todd Rehg agreed that the wind was problematic.
"When you have roads that don't have much traffic on them, they're going to get packed," Rehg said. "A lot of side streets may look like we didn't touch them, but they were drivable."
Both cities pre-salted before the storm, which helped with road conditions, according to the public works directors.
Webster Groves public works crews started pre-salting at 10 p.m. Saturday night. Another crew took over at 10 a.m. Sunday morning and continued to work throughout the day.
"With the cold temperatures, we were afraid of [snow] re-freezing, so we tried to get as much out of the road as possible," Verheyen said.
At 5 a.m. this morning, Webster crews worked icy spots and intersections in an effort to ensure no accidents occurred during this morning's rush hour. Verheyen said his crews focused their efforts on hills, overpasses and bridges.
The Webster Groves public works director predicts that the city will stay within its snow removal budget this year. The city's salt dome is 90 percent full, and new technology will help the city from dispersing excess salt on roads, according to Verheyen.
This year, five of seven city's snow removal trucks removal received ground speed controls. The technology allows drivers to dial in a salt application rate. Without the technology, drivers would have to "visually guestimate" the amount of salt being dispersed.
"In the past we've put a lot of salt on the roads," Verheyen said. "In the end [the new technology] will be more cost efficient."