Snow plows back to work after first significant snowfall of winter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday brought the largest snowfall of the season, and the most snow eastern Iowa has seen in some areas since April 2018.

Powers Plowing cleans off a parking lot at Dairy Queen on Johnson Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids. Saturday marked the first significant snowfall of the season. (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)

While some have dreaded the powder until this point in the season, for plow drivers, it is finally time to get to work- and there was a lot of work to be done.

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City saw five inches, North Liberty saw 5.7 inches, while parts of the TV9 viewing area saw 9 inches or more.

"It's going to be a really long day and a really long night," said Brandon Powers of Powers Plowing. As long as the day was going to be, Powers was just happy there was finally snow to clear.

"It's going to be a 24-hour plow, at least," Powers said. Plowing for that long, with all of the snow that arrived, comes very little rest.

"Well that's the thing: we really never got to sleep," Powers said. "Because we have to keep checking every hour: 'is there enough to go? Is there enough to go?' So, I really didn't get any sleep"

Meanwhile, for the businesses that need Powers to plow, their priority is not for Powers to sleep; they need their parking lots cleared out.

"That way they can get in easier and not have so many accidents," said Cathy Lentz, a Shift Manager at the Dairy Queen on Johnson Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids.

Despite the weather, people can often come in waves looking for a Dairy Queen signature Blizzard during what seems like a blizzard outside.

Think again.

"We got a snowstorm coming, trying to get closed because of it, and everybody in Cedar Rapids wants Dairy Queen," said Lentz, recalling what has happened in past snowstorms. "They're coming in."

Busier streets were well plowed and treated, but on some side streets around Cedar Rapids, people took it upon themselves to do some cleaning of their own.

One man said he expected to shovel three to four times Saturday, and had already shoveled his driveway since 7:15 a.m.

For those in charge of plowing snow, one thing is certain: with all of the white to move, there was plenty of green to make.

"Oh yeah, we'll see a lot of bit of green," Powers said.