Plymouth Public Works Stays a Step Ahead of Arctic Blast
Clearing the streets of snow can be challenging in extreme cold temperatures. The Plymouth Public Works Department is doing what they can to stay ahead of the Arctic blast.
Monday afternoon, snow-covered plow trucks lined the inside of the Plymouth facility. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to remove snow from the seventh largest city in Minnesota. A conference room is turned into a makeshift bedroom for workers who either worked too long, or did not want to miss their shift.
“From about 6 to 11, those guys plowed our main roadways and then came back in, rested and went back out a two o’clock for a full city plow,” explained Joe Paumen, the streets and utilities manager for the city of Plymouth.
Clearing the streets of snow was challenging this time around because crews couldn’t pre-treat the roads ahead of time.
“When it gets this cold, the salt doesn’t activate,” said Paumen.
There are other chemicals that will work in -15 degree temperatures. However, there is nothing in the toolbox for the upcoming winter blast.
So for now, plow drivers are racing against Mother Nature, doing what they can before the Arctic blast arrives.
“We really want to make sure we mechanically clear the roads, scrape the roads as much as we can before this cold snap hits,” said Paumen.
Officials are keeping a close eye on the roads and the dropping temperatures–hoping they get a break with some unexpected sunshine.
With the cold snap on Tuesday and Wednesday, the city of Plymouth has several safety messages to residents.
Staying Safe in Extreme Cold
From the Plymouth Fire Department:
– With the extra snow, the Fire Department encourages everyone to clear a path to fire hydrants and keep a 3-foot diameter clearing around it.
– Residents should make sure they have functioning smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide detectors.
Some people are tempted to add alternative heating sources like space heaters, propane heaters and even ovens and cook tops.
– Ensure space heaters have room around them so they don’t start something on fire.
– Never use propane-fired heaters indoors and using cooking devices as a source of heat is never a good idea. Both produce increased levels of carbon monoxide in closed spaces.
From the Plymouth Police:
– Motorists who get stuck should put on your hazard-flashers, stay in their car, utilize their cell phone to call their roadside assistance or 911.