By Gale Rose
City street crews are already busy working on city streets as they try to keep ahead of the current snowstorm.
Crews were very busy over the weekend clearing the last of the snow from the downtown area and adjoining side streets, said Dave Howard, Pratt city manager.
With a second snowstorm in the forecast, the city concentrated on getting the streets cleaned. The key to more efficient snow removal is a good cleanup from the first snow. That work makes the second round a lot easier, Howard said.
"We plowed the snow routes to get them down to the pavement," Howard said. "It has already helped us immensely."
In preparation for the second storm, the city applied sand with salt then started moving snow when the second snowfall started.
To help keep the streets clear, the city brings in employees from other departments to help with snow removal, Howard said.
The city also contracts some of the snow removal work to local businesses.
While the snow routes are in pretty good shape, some of the side streets are a little rough. The city doesn't have the equipment to clear every street but they can run city vehicles down the streets and knock the snow down. If the city tried to clear the side streets they would have to deal with lots of parked cars and that would create a big problem for drivers when they tried to dig out.
Since some of the side streets are in rough shape, drivers are encouraged to drive slowly.
Also the city sanitation department is still working to get pickups back on schedule. With all the snow in the alleys and streets, it takes about a day or two longer for the trucks to make their rounds and the additional snow will complicate matters even further.