Waterloo snow plows stick to city policies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo snow plows stick to city policies


WATERLOO (KWWL)-- The snowy conditions made for a messy commute Monday morning.  And there was some frustration about how quickly snow plows tackled Waterloo streets.

Many drivers were spinning their wheels as a solid coating of snow covered city streets,

"It's pretty bad.  It's pretty slippery driving," one driver said.

And as for the snow plows…

"It just seemed like they weren't out early," the driver said.

And there's a reason for that.  It's the city's policy that snow plows don't clear the streets until two inches of snow has fallen.  Monday, that didn't happen until about 8 a.m.

"Once it starts to snow, we salt/sand our priorities.  At two inches, we plow the priorities.  And at three inches, we plow the whole town out," said Steve Decker, Waterloo Street Department superintendent.

Waterloo has a system of ranking streets.  Main thoroughfares get cleared first, then secondary streets, and finally residential areas.  The downtown area typically gets plowed between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. when there is much less traffic and fewer cars parked along the streets.  It's a lengthy process, but one that street crews say they've got down pat.

"Well we do what we do, and we've been doing it for a long time.  And we're good at what we do," Decker said.

So it just takes a little patience on the part of drivers to wait for the plows to get the job of street clearing completely done.

Street crews will work around the clock to keep the roads cleared.  And if snow re-covers the roads, the snow plow routes will start all over, with plows working from the top priority streets down to the residential areas.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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