SANDPOINT — Crews spent much of the day Tuesday in snowplows and graders trying to keep up with the onslaught of snow, and their efforts continued throughout the day Wednesday.
City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton said the city had 10 operators running three graders, two plow trucks, three loaders, a sander and two skid steers working to clear the streets. In addition, she said, three contract trucks and drivers hauled snow from the downtown core on Wednesday. They began work at 2 a.m. in the downtown area so it could be cleared before having to work around all of the cars typically parked on the streets.
Stapleton said the all-city plow was completed by 4 p.m. Wednesday, which includes emergency and commercial routes, as well as residential streets. Crews will be going through the streets today to perform clean up throughout the city as well, she said.
Residents who have concerns, such as a berm that was missed in front of a driveway, are encouraged to contact the Public Works Department at 208-263-3407 or the City Shop at 208-263-3428.
“Our crews did perform in accordance with the snow removal policy and we are pleased to report that all 60 miles of City streets were plowed within a 24-hour period of the snow storm beginning,” Stapleton said. “This particular storm created some unusual challenges because we received a significant amount of snowfall in a 24-hour period. It was also a very wet, heavy snow which made it heavy and more difficult to move and remove.”
In addition to the mad rush to clear the snow, emergency crews responded to many calls throughout the day Tuesday. Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS responded to 46 calls during Tuesday’s snow storm, according to a posting on their Facebook page. The Sandpoint Police Department responded to several calls as well, including three vehicle slide-offs and three collisions.
In a Nixle alert Tuesday evening, the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office said 911 operators were “experiencing heavy call volume due to trees being down throughout the county,” asking residents not to travel if at all possible. In the Bonner County 911 call log for Tuesday, there were 49 reports of traffic hazards, as well as 20 vehicle slide-offs and more than 20 non-injury and injury accidents reported.
Numerous people reported power outages Tuesday as well, and many were still without power Wednesday night. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, more than 1,200 Avista customers were still without power in the greater Sandpoint area. Northern Lights, Inc., after restoring 4,857 customers in Bonner County and surrounding area, reported 4,584 customers still without power Wednesday evening.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.