Jan 21, 2023

🎧 Mayor Kelliher thanks crews for work during snowstorm, recaps City Council meeting

Posted Jan 21, 2023 7:52 PM

North Platte Post

NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-As the remnants of the record-breaking snowfall blanket the city, crews from the City of North Platte continue to dig out.

North Platte Mayor Brandon Kelliher is proud of the city employees who pitched in to plow, scoop and blow snow.

"We really appreciate all their dedication, they've been going almost 24/7 since early Wednesday morning, and they're going to continue that through the weekend to try to get the snow removed out of Downtown and some of the business areas," said Mayor Kelliher.

With 13.9 inches of snow, crews must get more creative to keep the city moving.

"When there's this much snow this quickly, you can't just shove it somewhere, you have to actually pick it up with machines and haul it," said Mayor Kelliher.

Photo: North Platte Public Service Department
Photo: North Platte Public Service Department

As usual, the areas around schools and the Emergency Snow Routes were the priority.

"The crews will get to what they can in the neighborhoods over the next several days, but realistically by the time we get some of the snow hauled away from the business districts and the main thoroughfares, it's going to be a little bit," said Mayor Kelliher.

About three years ago, the Emergency Snow Routes in the city were remapped by now-City Manager Layne Groseth.

"Layne and his crew redid where the Snow Routes are in the city," said Kelliher. "They plotted them specifically on major thoroughfares, but there's a few that you would consider not major thoroughfares that are on the Snow Route."

The main goal is access to emergency care.

"They did it that way so that no matter where you live in North Platte, you're no more than three blocks from a Snow Route," said Kelliher. "The theory being that it may not be easy to get out of your driveway or on the street, but you only have to go about three blocks and you can get where you need to go."

Kelliher said this ensures emergency personnel can continue providing services to residents.

The city is also bigger than most think.

"There are 251 miles of streets in North Platte, so it's kind of like a trip to Grand Island and back," said Mayor Kelliher. "In order to scoop all of those, it just takes time, and if we wanted to try to get rid of the snow in a day or two off all those streets, we would need to roughly quadruple our staff as well as the pieces of equipment that we have."

Mayor Kelliher said about 30 city employees are involved with snow removal. He said crews are roughly divided in half so they can run constantly. Mayor Kelliher said employees from all city departments have pitched in to help.

Mayor Kelliher said one of the things residents can do to help is to refrain from blowing or piling their snow in the streets, which causes more problems for drivers and city crews.

"Sometimes you can't avoid it, but if you can avoid it, please blow it up on your lawn, that's just that much less you have to water your lawn this Spring," said Mayor Kelliher.

Mayor Kelliher said the most important thing residents can do is be patient as the city works to get things cleared up.

Mayor Kelliher also joined Scotty on Good Morning North Platte to discuss snow removal and recap Tuesday's City Council meeting, which includes receiving a $1,000,000 grant to assist with the housing issue in the city. You can listen to that below.