City crews continue to open streets around Pratt as the city digs out from a winter storm that dumped from 14 inches to 15 inches of snow across the city.
Street crews have been mounding snow in the middle of the street in the downtown area and business district as they prepare to remove the snow at night, said Pratt City Manager Dave Howard.
Crews actually spent part of the day Friday sleeping and getting a rest after spending most of two days pre-treating streets and pushing snow around to get streets open.
Friday night the crews attacked the mounds of piled up snow in the downtown area. The snow is removed at night because traffic is very light and doesn't get in the way of the snow moving equipment, Howard said.
Snow is removed to a parking lot in Sixth Street where it is allowed to melt.
Other major streets in town have been plowed open. First Street, Main Street, Fifth Street, Sixth Street, Maple Street and Stout Street have all been plowed open.
Other side streets have not been plowed because with so many cars parked on the street, running plows would cause more problems for the vehicle owners then if the city just left the street alone.
Instead of opening streets, the city will dive vehicles up and down the street to pack down the snow and make it easier for drivers to dig their cars out.
The same tactic is done in alleys with sanitation trucks. Instead of running snowplows up and down alleys, the city just uses sanitation trucks to break through.
City sanitation crews are about three quarters of a day behind on trash pickup. It is very difficult for the trucks to navigate the alleys after a heavy snowfall. It is also difficult for crews to pull trash dumpsters to the trucks for unloading.
Most of the businesses are shut down so the sanitation crews can focus on residences because most people are home and creating more trash then usual. This puts sanitation crews behind in the business area but they are working hard to get back on schedule.
The sanitation crews face a multitude of problems and the city asks that residents be patient with the crews as they continue to fight the snow.
"Our sanitation crews face a multitude of problems," Howard said. "We'll keep at it until we get caught up."
The clogged streets have also created problems for postal workers. The snow has hampered their ability to deliver mail on time. Mail carriers worked late Friday evening to get the mail delivered.
The city delivery trucks sit low to the ground and getting stuck is a real problem for the postal service, said Pratt Postmaster Kim Lange.
Page 2 of 2 - The snow also caused a truck traffic jam at the Paso Junction truck stop. Road closings forced truckers to park their trucks and wait until roads were opened.
Trucks filled the Paso Junction lot and the excess trucks took up residence across the highway in the Walmart parking lot where a long row of semis sat and waited for word that roads were clear and they could deliver their cargo.
While city crews were busy taking care of streets, may good Samaritans were helping pull out stuck vehicles, shovel sidewalks, shovel out blocked in cars and help clear parking lots and driveways. Some helped shuttle stranded drivers to and from work as the city battled its way through mounds of snow in the city.