Snow plow crews to work through the night
Public works crews were scheduled to plow snow through the night and into the morning in the wake of significant snowfall.
Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel said Champaign-Urbana had received about three inches of snow through 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The snowfall led to the cancellation of a number of area activities on Tuesday night, including the Class 1A Super-Sectional basketball game between Cissna Park and Illini Central at Normal, the Class 2A Super-Sectional basketball game between St. Joseph-Ogden and Riverton at Springfield and the Class 3A Sectional basketball game between Champaign Centennial and Taylorville.
Kris Koester, administrative services supervisor for Champaign public works, said 14 people were plowing city streets and two others were plowing city parking lots until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, when a second crew of 15 people was scheduled to plow streets, and two others were scheduled to plow city parking lots.
“If we get 4 or 4½ inches of snow, we plan to run consecutive 12-hour shifts through 11:30 a.m. Thursday,” Koester said.
Koester also reminded residents not to push snow from their properties onto the streets.
“If you shovel onto the street once a street is cleared, we have to go back and clear it,” Koester said. “Keep the snow somewhere on your own property.”
John Collins, operations manager for Urbana public works, said nine drivers were salting Urbana streets on Tuesday evening.
He said a team of 13 drivers was scheduled to plow snow in Urbana beginning at midnight.
“We’ll be working on 12-hour shifts until we get everything cleaned up,” Collins said. ”We didn’t expect the low temperatures and the heavy winds, but we were staffed for it.”
Tracy Wingler, maintenance supervisor for the Champaign County Highway Department, said high winds made it difficult for his drivers to keep the rural roads clear of snow.
“The way the winds were blowing on Tuesday, the roads got covered up again 15 minutes after our trucks plowed them,” Wingler said.
Wingler said he had eight trucks plowing snow beginning at noon Tuesday. A second crew of eight drivers took over plowing duties at 7 p.m., with the first crew scheduled to return for work at 7 a.m. today.
“We’ll be out there all night Tuesday and probably all day Wednesday,” Wingler said.
Rantoul public works director Greg Hazel reported about an inch of snow, slush and ice on village streets on Tuesday evening.
“We had a group of eight trucks begin plowing snow at 6 p.m.,” Hazel said. “They are scheduled to work through midnight. A second group of four trucks will plow between midnight and 6 a.m., and then the first crew will return to work.”