GR plows try to navigate side streets

A Grand Rapids plow truck goes down College Ave (January 25, 2014).
A Grand Rapids plow truck goes down College Ave (January 25, 2014).

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If residents in Grand Rapids wanted to go anywhere Saturday, they had to dig out first.

As soon as daylight broke, you could hear the buzz of blowers and lots of shovels scraping as Grand Rapidians attempted to dig out from under lots of drifting snow.

“It looked bad [last night], but not this bad,” Dave Nemes said.

As city plows got caught up, main roads became mostly passable…but traveling on side streets and sidewalks was an ‘At Your Own Risk’ venture.

“They’ve been stuck all over the place on all of the streets. It’s been pretty nasty,” Nemes said.

Because of the stuck and stranded vehicles, or those who simply chose to ignore the odd even parking rules, progress was slow going for city plows.

With cars blocking both sides of the street along College Avenue, one plow driver had no choice but to go the wrong way down a one way just to get through. That same issue affected county trucks as well. Jerry Byrne with the Kent County Road Commission discussed the problem Saturday morning on 24 Hour News 8 Daybreak.

“People have abandon their vehicles. They’ve gotten stuck, maybe couldn’t get out the driveway. They need to shovel, they need to get a wrecker, they need to get those out of the road for us. If we can’t get down the road because of a stranded vehicle, that road may not get service today.”

But as road conditions improved throughout the morning, so did the mood and eventually most made it through.

“It’s a lot of snow, but it’s West Michigan and that’s what you get here,” Nemes said.

The city of Grand Rapids sent out a release advising people to drive with caution. The city says they have all available resources working around the clock to get the snow out of the way and expect to have all streets clear by the Monday morning commute.

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