A whopper of a storm, but we handled it
Residents can count on some amount of disruption when snow totals from a single storm are between one foot to, in some areas, over two feet.
Still, it is remarkable how communities such as ours maintain such normality.
This is not to say that everything is perfect.
Yes, it would be nicer if, for example, Rochester and Olmsted County had more plows on hand for these whopper snow days. However, if polled on a hot July day whether the average resident would tolerate increased property taxes to pay for more snow-clearing equipment and the operating personnel, well, let’s just say some folks might hesitate.
As it is, the city never really "shut down." In fact, main arteries were always open, as were key side streets. Again, not everything is perfect and some residential streets remained unplowed for the better part of a day.
This storm provides the city and county administration and city council and county board with a unique opportunity. Perhaps now is the time to poll residents about their satisfaction with street clearing with a two-part question that asks about higher taxes to cover improved service.
During this storm the county had 17 trucks with plows and nine motor graders in service. In addition, the county contracts with seven of the 18 townships for additional plowing support.
In the city of Rochester there were 54 pieces of equipment used in the street clearing effort. Of that total, 51 are owned by the city. The city has private contacts that bring two graders and a front-end loader to work the downtown. The city also uses four private contractors to supply trucks to haul away the snow.
Is our snow removal fleet enough or should it be bigger? If we want more, it’ll cost us — even in the years it doesn’t snow.
Both the county and city crews did a top-notch job with this latest snow. Thanks for the effort. But even with the best, most organized plowing operations, the intensity of the snow made travel tough.
One of the keys that gets our community through such winter travails is how people know the limits of travel during such days. We plan early and stay home during the worst and when necessary we drive but with a high level of caution.
Where’s the proof for such a rosy evaluation? It comes from simple observation that city streets and rural highways weren’t littered with wrecks and out-of-control automobiles.
So, yes, our community can handle the snow. It can make life difficult, but we manage.