Hazelwood residents saw their tax dollars at work last week when the City’s snow removal operation kicked into gear and provided 32 hours of continuous snow plowing during the onset of the area’s worst winter storm in 30 years. The City’s Public Works Department implemented 12-hour, back-to-back shifts requiring employees to work 12- to 15-hour shifts in order to keep the roadways passable for local residents.
“The January 5th storm hit on all the elements that make a snow event challenging — heavy snowfall over a long period of time, extreme temperatures, as well as blowing and drifting snow,” said Hazelwood’s director of public works David C. Stewart, PE/CPM. “At times, it was difficult for the snow plow operators to tell where they had plowed due to the white-out conditions.”
The City of Hazelwood’s snow removal operation includes ten (10) pieces of equipment. All employees of the Public Works Maintenance Division, including mechanics and supervisors, were out on the roads working alternating shifts and putting in 425 hours of over-time. They plowed and salted 167 lane miles within the city’s limits, including 147 cul-de-sacs and 18 municipal parking lots. No injuries or accidents were reported.
Hazelwood’s snow plow operators applied more than 350 tons of salt on local streets during the storm, which is nearly twice the amount of salt used for a typical storm. The City of Hazelwood spent nearly $16,000 on the amount of salt used on local streets.
“I’m a 50-year resident of Hazelwood. So I was here in 1982 when we had 14 to 16 inches and we were snow bound for quite a while,” said Ward 4 City Councilman Mike J. Conley. “Being able to get out of my neighborhood on Monday, January 6, when I needed to go to work that morning was great. Hazelwood’s snow removal team did a tremendous job!”
Approximately 43 percent of Hazelwood’s streets are designated as Emergency Snow Routes. According to City Ordinance 397.040, parking of vehicles on emergency snow routes is prohibited when the City of Hazelwood has declared an Emergency Snow Alert, which occurs when four (4) or more inches of snow are predicted by the National Weather Service. But residents are urged to keep their vehicles off all streets during a snow storm in order to make the City’s snow removal operation more effective.
“We greatly appreciated the patience and cooperation of our residents during the storm, particularly those who didn’t park on the streets. Not attempting to use or park on city streets is the single most beneficial thing a resident can do to help us expedite snow removal,” Stewart said.