GR plow crews making headway on streets

A Grand Rapids city truck plows snow on a road. (Feb. 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — All Grand Rapids city streets had at least once pass by a snowplow by mid-morning Friday.

Victor Rose, the city’s public service manager, says crews are now trying to get to the side streets a second time.

Round two isn’t expected to be completed until Saturday afternoon.

But the concerns don’t end with the snow on the ground — those concerns lie under the snow, where storm drain grates are located.

What happens if West Michigan gets heavy rain and the snow begins to melt?

Water will normally find its way under a snow bank to a drain. But the snow came before leaves could be cleaned from gutters along city streets.

It’s a problem city crews are watching, especially on the northeast side of town.

Some viewers have emailed 24 Hour News 8, wondering if it’s a good time to get out the shovel and clear the drains.

City officials say it would be under normal conditions.

“But with all the snowcover it’s going to be very difficult for folks to wade through the snow and the slush and the leaves and the water,” said Rose, who added that residents experiencing problems should call the city’s new 311 service. “They’ll dispatch out to us where the issues are and we’ll work closely with our Environmental Services Division to clear those areas.”

Rose said the city has a good idea where the biggest problems will be. They’re running plows through those areas to try to get the gutters and the storm drain grates free of debris.

And while plow drivers try to clear storm drains, they’re also dodging refuse carts.

“If you’re a person who puts their cart in the street or in the gutter line, chances are it might have [been] knocked over,” Rose said. “It might have [been] pushed and shoved. We didn’t do that on purpose. We’re just trying to clear the roads.”

If your garbage and recyclables have been picked up, getting your carts off the street will help alleviate the problem.

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