The O'Neill Street Department is spending its funding this year in the form of snow removal. The beginning of the year storm dumped 17- 19 inches of snow on the city of O'Neill and was the most snow in 10-15 years. This storm, with the downtown and roads being closed, was the first time citizens had been homebound in quite a while. While city crews started early on the snow removal, they did have to redo routes as the snow just kept coming.
Snow emergency routes are plowed first by city crews. The plows begin with fourth street and Douglas and then up second to the hospital. North and south-running streets that take priority are Second, Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Streets.
The East-West Streets that are Emergency Snow Routes are Douglas, Adams, Hynes and Hancock. Some side streets in the north end of town run by some of the Medical Physicians' houses and were added to the snow route. City crews start plowing as early as they can after a storm, and in the case of the last significant snowfall, they plowed during the storm to get a head start and started again as soon as it stopped snowing.
"People must remember that mother nature dictates how fast we can remove snow based on the amount we get," said Mayor Scott Menish. In the case of an Emergency, we can have plows and loaders to help emergency workers to get to a scene or medical staff to the hospital. I also want to remind people who remove snow not to cover fire hydrants. House fires can happen any time of year and usually at the most inopportune time. If emergency crews have to dig to find and use a hydrant, it could use precious time before the water can get to the fire apparatus," said Menish.
Due to the impending storm this week and a storm emergency, there is no parking on emergency snow routes, and for the remainder of the town, please only park on the odd number side of the streets due to the forecasted snow.
People are reminded that snow emergencies are not only an inconvenience but can be deadly. Winter storm conditions bring impassible roads and cold conditions that can lead to frostbite if the skin is exposed long enough. If roads are blocked with snow, do not venture out and get stuck, as your stuck vehicle can block equipment when it needs to get through. If you have to venture out, wear the appropriate clothing, including boots, gloves, hats and a warm coat. If you get stuck, you may have to walk to safety or stay with your vehicle. Please allow plenty of time for someone to reach your destination. If you have an emergency, call 911.
It has been quite some time since we have had a typical winter, but we must remember where we live. This winter is more like what winters used to be, and we may have to transition back to thinking like we used to and preplan for emergencies by dressing accordingly and not being in such a rush and keeping up to date with weather events and closings.
Welcome to the discussion.