Blowing Snow Keeps Cedar Rapids Road Crews Busy

By Rick Smith, Reporter

An Alliant Energy crew cleans up after working on power lines on Cottage Grove Avenue SE on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in southeast Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Nearly all of the city’s residential streets will have been plowed and most arterials plowed anew by the time you get up on Friday morning. Even so, expect to see some snow on streets from blowing snow, says Craig Hanson, the city’s public works maintenance manager.

Late Thursday afternoon, Hanson reported that the city took on between 6 and 9 inches of snow, with the north side of the city getting more than the south side, though some of the worst drifting was on the south side, particularly on 76th Avenue SW and Wright Brothers Boulevard SW.

In fact, the city had to close down 76th Avenue SW on Thursday when winds of 35 to 40 miles created a white-out condition.

City crews, Hanson said, had to withdraw plows from Wright Brothers Boulevard SW for a time for the same white-out conditions after a truck driving on the wrong side of the boulevard came at a city plow.

Hanson said the intense Thursday wind complicated work for city crews, and he said dropping temperatures into the evening Thursday were making crews hustle to finish the cleanup of residential streets before the snow on them froze.

Warm temperatures in the downtown at the start of the storm on Wednesday evening allowed the first couple of inches of snow there to melt, making six to eight inches of snow seem more like three to five inches, he said.

Among the assignments for city crews today, he added, is the cleanup 23 miles of city sidewalk.

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