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W.Va. towns struggle to remove all that snow

Bluefield Daily Telegraph photo Princeton city workers bulldoze mounds of snow out of the center of Mercer Street Monday afternoon. Removing the massive amounts of snow and slush choking roadways and sidewalks left by the recent winter storm is a big job for area municipalities.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph photo
Princeton city workers bulldoze mounds of snow out of the center of Mercer Street Monday afternoon. Removing the massive amounts of snow and slush choking roadways and sidewalks left by the recent winter storm is a big job for area municipalities.

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — City crews are facing the same problem state road crews deal with after a major snowstorm hits the region: Where do you put all that snow?

City employees in Bluefield, Princeton and other municipalities across the region were laboring Monday to remove tons of ice and frozen show piled along the streets and in some instance, even down the middle of the streets. In most cases, crews clearing city streets first have to push the snow off to the side.

 Bluefield crews had put snow along the side of the streets, and while that is “horrible for business owners,” it’s not new, said City Manager Dane Rideout. The snow that is hauled away is dumped in one of the vacant lots the city owns.

In Bluefield, city crews have to use inadequate equipment. This situation was compounded by the recent snowstorm.

“Well, obviously this storm was a larger storm for the region than I think is normal,” Rideout stated. “Our snow clearing preparations have been severely hampered not just because of the snow but because of our equipment.”

Bluefield has had to improvise in order to handle snowstorms.

“This city has piecemealed its snow-clearing capability for several years. We build our own plows, we build our own saltboxes to save money,” he said.

The equipment is then put on 9-year-old vehicles. For 48 hours, two of the six city vehicles equipped with snowplows were operational. One worked for 36 hours. It stopped for one hour and 26 minutes to refuel, Rideout said.

“That’s where we’re running these vehicles into the ground…

 

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