Winter’s last gasp

MARSHALL – Marshall Public Works is asking residents to get their vehicles off the streets after a late season snow storm brought city and county personnel out in force to deal with at least 12 inches of the heavy white stuff.

“We’re asking for patience,” said Public Works Director Glenn Olson. “We have a limited number of personnel, and they’re all out there.”

According to Olson, city employees working 12-hour shifts are being rotated through the street cleaning equipment round the clock. Since the snow fell after the April 1 deadline to declare a snow emergency, the city has declared a “weather emergency,” but the effect is the same.

“We got everybody out working at four in the morning,” said Marshall Streets Department Superintendent Dean Coudron. “We got a lot of snow, very heavy, with ice underneath.”

Coudron said he expects his department to be clearing city streets for about a week.

“Overall I think we’re doing OK,” Coudron said. “It’s definitely going to put a dent in the overtime budget though.”

According to Coudron, there haven’t been any problems other than working around cars stuck in the snow.

Olson asks Marshall residents to call the city offices at 537-6773 if their streets have not been plowed by 11 a.m. today.

“We apologize but we’re using different personnel who might not know the routes,” Olson said.

Outside the city limits, travel remains potentially hazardous.

“There’s a lot of it, and it’s not good,” said Jim Thomasson, Lyon County Highway Department superintendent. “There’s a lot of ice underneath the snow but I think it’ll break up fast.”

However, Thomasson said the blacktop roads should be clear by this morning and work started on the county’s gravel roads.

“That’s slow going because you can only use a road grader,” Thomasson said. “It helps that the schools closed. We haven’t had any emergencies.”

Generally though, people have been avoiding travel, and businesses have closed or opened late, making the job of first responders easier.

“We’ve been dealing with some accidents, traffic-related issues and some medical emergencies, but for the most part, people have been staying home,” said Lyon County Sheriff Mark Mather. “I have to applaud the public for staying put. It’s helped our agency do its job.”