The snowfall Monday accelerated the transition from fall to winter for St. Cloud Public Works.  Tracy Hodel is the Public Works Director for the city of St. Cloud.  She says the plows were out this morning treating and clearing the roads.  Hodel explains that the public utilities side, public works and engineering sides shift to different types of work using different equipment when wintry weather arrives.

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Hodel says the are prepared to make snow removal the top number priority for the next 5 months.  She says their crews will be picking up yard waste through November 19th and will transition to working on the snow removal side of things.  Hodel indicated that Public Works has been busy street sweeping and are about 75% done with curbed areas but with some work left to do she's hoping this snow doesn't stick around so they can finish the job.

I asked Hodel how much snow needs to fall to get the plows out.  She says that is variable but they typically try to get out with about 1 inch of new snow because they could apply less salt which means less cost for the city and on top of that less chlorides getting into our receiving waters.

Hodel explains the St. Cloud area hasn't been in a drought but areas south of St. Cloud have been.  She says the rainfall they received last week was great because the ground isn't frozen and the water can soak in.  Hodel says the drought level may or may not be affected by amount of snow we get during the winter.  She says it depends on the type of spring we have.  She explains that if we have some warmer weather, in the spring, that allows that moisture to seep into the ground that is the best case scenario.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Tracy Hodel it is available below.

 

 

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