Published April 12, 2022

Snow is Coming, City is Ready

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan
[Photo: City of Minot]
[Photo: City of Minot]

MINOT — It’s spring, but City of Minot Street Superintendent Kevin Braaten’s mind has been on snow for the past few days.

“Like everyone else, we’ve been aware of this storm coming since last week, so we’ve been preparing since then,” Braaten said. “We’ve reached out to other city departments, so we’ll be able to utilize some of their employees if necessary.”

Forecasts have varied over the past few days, but most information has the snow storm starting Tuesday morning and lasting through most of Thursday. Snow totals range from 8 inches to more than 20 inches, with winds up to 50 miles per hour in some locations.

That means city crews have been prepping for the storm.

“We’ve double-checked all our blades, we’re making sure all our equipment is ready, and we’re fueled up and ready to go when the snow comes,” Braaten said. “We’ll have people here around the clock for as long as it’s necessary.”

Crews won’t be applying brine to streets ahead of the storm, Braaten said, because the latest forecasts call for rain before the snow begins, which would wash away the brine.

Braaten said crews will use the snow gates on plows as much as possible, but heavy, wet snow that typically comes with spring storms is difficult to move.

“Pushing aside heavy, wet snow is difficult. We’ll try to use the gates, but I just want to prepare residents that they’re not always effective with this type of snow,” he said.

The usual snow plan remains in effect, with snow routes being first on the priority list, followed by hills and school zones, resident and downtown, and sidewalks. With high winds in the forecast, Braaten has already made plans to deal with problem areas, like 16th Street Northwest west of Ramstad Middle School, where wind routinely fills the street with snow as soon as crews remove it.

“We know we’ll have to keep equipment up there and other places to keep the roads open as best we can,” he said. “But if the visibility is horrible, please don’t drive there. It makes our job more difficult when vehicles get stuck.”

Braaten’s advice is simple, and will help his crews do their job as effectively as possible.

“Please, only travel on the streets if you absolutely have to be somewhere,” he said.

Residents are also asked not to park vehicles on streets during and after the storm whenever possible, especially on snow routes. If snow amounts reach the predicted levels, a snow emergency could be declared in the city, which would trigger no parking on all snow emergency routes.

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