Plowers running out of space to leave snow

Piles of snow at Dykema Excavating in Grand Rapids. (Jan. 29, 2014)
Piles of snow at Dykema Excavating in Grand Rapids. (Jan. 29, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The forecast features more snow that will have to be cleared from streets, sidewalks and driveways — and people are running out of places to move it.

Snow is piled up all over West Michigan. It can be found in large banks along the road and large hills in parking lots.

River’s Edge snow plow business owners John Jonker and his brother are being forced to move all of the snow they already moved once into the back of a truck and off site.

“I don’t think anybody’s really understood the scope of the amount of snow we would get this year,” Jonker said.

It’s becoming a concern for regular homeowners, too. There’s a mess of snow on Evelyn Seberry’s property and it’s growing. Clearly mounting with the snow are her frustrations.

“I’m tired,” she said.

She said the county plow pushes snow into her driveway. She has private plow service, but plow drivers are simply running out of places to put all of the snow.

The law prohibits plows from pushing snow that would impact streets and sidewalks. That has left Seberry, who in a cruelly poetic sort of way lives on Safety Street NW, playing a bit of a guessing game as she backs out.

“I have to back up slowly,” she said.

And even then, visibility of the road is limited.

Plow drivers are able to bring in equipment to help move the snow onto lawns, but there is still limited space there.

The problem for homeowners looking to move that snow off their property is cost. Moving snow is not usually covered in plow contracts.

“It’s $160 an hour to move snow and then it’s additional fee if you have to truck it off-site,” Jonker explained.

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