City, county working to clear roads after storm
By CHUCK CLEMENT AND ELISA SAND
Madison and Lake County crews are out slowly clearing the heavy, wet snow from the roadways Thursday (today) after the area received more than eight inches during the night.|
Area schools are all closed for the third consecutive day. Dakota State University classes were canceled for the second consecutive day.
Custom Touch Homes canceled all shifts Thursday; the East Dakota Transit bus was not running; a snow day was declared for the Lake County Courthouse as well as those in Howard and Flandreau; and all state offices were closed.
City garbage pickup for Thursday will move to Friday.
Madison Public Works Director Fred Snoderly said city street crews were busy clearing snow from the streets. City officials declared a snow alert at 3 a.m. on Wednesday which will continue through Thursday.
According to Snoderly, city crews had cleared Madison's emergency snow routes and part of the downtown corridor by midmorning. Municipal snowplows have started clearing residential streets and avenues using an odd-even system.
On odd-numbered days, crews start moving snow from north-south streets and then clear east-west avenues. On even-numbered days, the snow plows clear east-west avenues first and then move to the north-south streets.
Snoderly said moving all parked vehicles off the streets was the best assistance the residents could provide to the work crews.
Madison police officers can start placing 24-hour warning stickers on parked vehicles at the start of a snow alert. Vehicles are subject to a $25 fine and towing.
County Highway Superintendent Scott Mathison said plows have been out since about 6 a.m., but progress is slow because of the wet, heavy snow.
"We'll have everything plowed today," he said, "but it's going to take a while."
Lake County Emergency Management Director Don Thomson estimated that 8 or 9 inches of snow fell overnight, providing 15-17 inches of precipitation over the past three days.
Thomson said the next concern is how fast the snow will melt and whether spring flooding will become a concern.
"Now that we got this 17 inches, it all depends on how the temperatures come. If it's a slow melt, we'll be good, but the potential for flooding could be there."