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Spokane city, county snowplows, crews ready for action

One of the fleet of Spokane city snowplows, ready for action
Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio
One of the fleet of Spokane city snowplows, ready for action

Spokane city and county street crews say their preparations are complete for the winter season.

Mayor Nadine Woodward says the city will have about the same number of plows available as last year and other materials are ready as well.

“Truckloads of sand and solid de-icer have been staged. The railcars have already delivered thousands of gallons of liquid de-icer and the snow gates, we are told, are ready to go," she said.

Woodward says the city will continue its practice of shifting employees from other city agencies to help with snow duties during major storms. By doing that, she says the city has reduced from four days to three the length of time needed for a full city plow.

County officials say they have 38 plows available for use this year, and 34 graders, eight of which have new home-made boots designed to minimize the amount of snow shoved into driveways.

Andy Schenk from the county public works department says his crews are ready for plowing.

Schenk says his agency has added to its fleet of plows capable of avoiding driveways while pushing snow in densely populated areas.

“Right here is one of the boots that our team designed and built in-house. There are some commercial ones that we can buy that, they didn’t quite meet our needs, they were expensive. So, last year, our crew, they had cardboard cutouts, they got it to fit just right and they made it interchangeable," he said.

He says one of the main complaints of county plows is that leave too much snow in driveways.

Schenk urged the public to be aware when the trucks are at work.

“Give us room. These are big machines," he said. "\Our guys are out there working long and hard hours, so if you see us, give us room, give us time. Leave early. Be prepared to drive.”

The county says the crews’ first priority is clearing emergency routes and primary arterials, then secondary streets, followed by residential areas.

You can track the progress of Spokane city plows here and Spokane County plows here.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.