Snowplow drivers needed in parts of Utah, more snow expected
Dec 16, 2021, 6:31 PM | Updated: 9:22 pm
SALT LAKE COUNTY – Even though Utah’s latest storm did not deliver a lot of snow in Salt Lake County Thursday, there’s been plenty of snow to plow out of the way this week.
It’s been a big storm, and some plow teams didn’t have the drivers they needed. Salt Lake County and state crews tried to finish what they missed Wednesday and prepared for another wave.
“I think we’re expecting some more spotty showers. Our crews are out there looking for icy patches,” said John Gleason, a UDOT spokesman.
Statewide, this storm cost about $1 million for UDOT to clear, and it isn’t over yet. That’s typical for a statewide storm, which is why UDOT has a $24 million budget for snow removal.
“That’s for a storm that is really impacting all of Utah. Our crews will get out there, they’ll address it as it’s happening, and do all the cleanup as well,” said Gleason.
Plow drivers started preparing two days ago.
“They’ve been going pretty much nonstop ever since. We cycle people in, give people rest when they need it. But, when you have a major system like this that moves through, it’s all hands on deck,” he said.
“A lot of times you get a lot of snow up on the east side, but not on the west side. So, when the west side guys are done, they can go help the east side. That didn’t happen yesterday. We had guys that were spread thin all day long, so it took a lot longer,” said Kevyn Smeltzer, Director of Operations for Salt Lake County Public Works
Salt Lake County has 65 trucks, but only 62 were out on the road. Some areas were not plowed as soon, Wednesday.
“There are three of those routes, where we just didn’t have a guy to be there,” Smeltzer said.
Plow teams were following up with those routes Thursday.
“That’s the downside to being short people: you have a whole neighborhood that doesn’t get done,” Smeltzer said.
This wet and icy storm has been more challenging than most.
“We should be ok in the future. It’s just the big ones that are tough, “he said.
The county is hiring because it wants to have all of its trucks on the road during big storms.
The state is also hiring but is confident it has the staffing for snowplows right now.