Road crews clean away snow after battling with rain

Tuesday nights storm kept St. Joseph street crews busy all night and through Wednesday morning, but it was what happened before the snow that made the cleanup efforts difficult. Before snow covered the streets, rain showers prevented street crews from pre-treating with salt.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 9:05 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)—Tuesday night's storm kept  St. Joseph street crews busy all night through Wednesday morning, but it was what happened before the snow that made the cleanup efforts difficult. Before snow covered the streets, rain showers prevented street crews from pre-treating with salt. 

"When it's raining you run the risk of putting salt down and it just getting washed right off, so we end up just wasting our time and wasting material," Street Maintenance Superintendent Kevin Schneider said. 

As the rain came down Tuesday afternoon, Schneider's crew had no choice but to wait. 

"We wanted to get out as quickly as possible but we had to wait long enough for the rain to slow down," Schneider said. 

Street crews were able to start spreading salt shortly after 4pm Tuesday afternoon as snowfall turned to hail. From there the crew worked rolling 12-hour shifts throughout the night. 

"For the first two shifts, we used about 1,200 to 1,500 tons of salt," Schneider said. "Throughout the day the sunshine will help, even if the temperature is kind of still chilly the sun really gets the salt going."

Schneider says it'll take around 72 hours total for the streets to be fully cleared. 

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Moving into the weekend, we will be keeping an eye on the potential for flooding rain and strong thunderstorms. On Saturday, the rain might hold off until the afternoon but will be widespread late Saturday and into Sunday. This is when the heaviest rain should fall. Expect rainfall totals to be anywhere from 2-4 inches. This could bring area streams and rivers to flood stage so make sure you are watching out for that.
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