UPDATED: River Falls officials update on plowing status, homeowner expectations
Scot Simpson, administrator for the City of River Falls, issued an updated statement mid-morning Sunday, advising River Falls residents of snow clean-up efforts and reminding homeowners in the vicinity of schools should have sidewalks cleared by 7 a.m., Monday, to assure safe passage by kids enroute to classes.
"Full-scale snow removal operations began at midnight with the full public works crew and contracted help from Ber-Mark, F&K and Express Personnel. Crews are expected to work approximately 12 hours to reopen all alleys and roads and to load and remove snow from Main Street through the downtown area.
"With the amount of snow received, plow trucks are having difficulty with cul-de-sacs and many will have to wait for a loader with wing to reopen them. All roads including cul-de-sacs will be reopened before crews suspend operations for the day.
"Snow will be removed from Main Street before crews suspend operations for the day, though the removal of sidewalk snow by business owners -- some of which is significantly drifted -- will cause need for follow-up snow removal on Main Street.
"Follow-up snow removal operations are expected to start at midnight Sunday when snow removal on downtown side streets, Second Street, South Main Street, and bridges is expected. Follow-up operations will also revisit roadways to clean up alternate night side parking areas. Significant numbers of cars were left on-street in violation of alternate night parking restrictions and some vehicles were abandoned in the middle of intersections. Both will result in additional follow-up to properly clear these streets.
"Many sidewalks and trails remain un-cleared and it is expected that clearing of these, including some that are the City's responsibility will not be completed within 24-hours of snow cessation as required by city code.
"People attempting to use sidewalks and trails should be prepared to encounter significant snow accumulations at corners where street snow removal operations have deposited snow and should use extreme caution.
The City will be providing an additional 24 hours for private sidewalks to be cleared although the City asks residents on school walking routes to have those routes open by 7 am, Monday.
"Full clean-up from this snow event including work such as loading and removal of snow where necessary in cul-de-sacs, cleaning up sight lines at alleyways and winging back curbside accumulations to make room for future snow removal operation will likely continue for two weeks. The current long range forecast looks favorable for completing these operations before another significant snow event.
"As of this update, most streets have been plowed. Some cul-de-sacs have not. Roads are still snow covered and slippery and some residential streets are restricted to one lane due to cars parked on both sides and large piles of snow being left where people have dug their cars out and moved them.
"There is localized blowing and drifting snow on some streets. Visibility at intersections is reduced due to large snow banks. Drivers are reminded to use extra caution and be aware of pedestrians that may be in the streets."
Scot Simpson, city administrator
City of River Falls