From frozen tundra to slushy mess

City residents deal with streets in aftermath of snow, bitter cold

MANISTEE — During the past few weeks, Manistee County received an excess amount of snowfall along with bitter cold temperatures that left the area’s streets in rough condition.

The Manistee Department of Public Works (DPW) announced in a press release on Monday, the city is preparing for a potential rise in temperatures, which could reach up to 40 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday.

National Weather Service forecasts also predict rain during the week, and more snow showers over the weekend.

After recent snow showers, a large amount of slush built up in the streets. Jeff Mikula, DPW director, said the city has been working round-the-clock to clear up these conditions, and will continue to monitor the forecast.

All of the snow plow routes were said to be completed by 5 p.m. on Monday; the city started plowing alternate streets on Monday evening.

Throughout the past weekend, the snow was not easy to remove or drive through.

Mikula said, as surface temperatures fall below 20 degrees snow forms a “hard-pack” on street surfaces. Salt placed on the roads activates when temperatures rise, which causes the “hard-pack” snow to break down.

On Monday, Mikula said this phenomenon resulted in heavy snow, which was plowed in large quantities.

“Salt is typically used to chemically break the bond between the pavement and snow; however, straight salt (or sodium chloride) loses its effectiveness below 15 degrees,” said Mikula. “Unfortunately, (heavy snow plowing) impacts parked cars on the streets and driveway entrances.”

City plows are now active 24-hours to maintain the roads, along with the changing forecast.

Three shifts will be administrated from 11 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. on Friday; first shift runs from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.; the second shift runs from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m.; and the last crew runs from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m.

A gap in coverage will occur from 11 p.m. on Friday until 11 p.m. on Sunday, where snow removal crews will be called in as needed.

“Adhering to the alternate parking ordinance is essential to allowing the streets to be maintained properly,” said Mikula.

Up until April 15, the alternate parking system will be enforced 24-hours a day, seven days a week and on all city streets. The change-over time will be from 4 p.m. through 7 p.m., allowing residents and visitors to switch their vehicle for the upcoming day.

Exceptions are on streets posted: “No Parking 3 a.m. until 7 a.m.” – this area is located in the downtown business district.

On even dates, residents should park on the even-numbered side of the street (north and west side of the street), and on odd dates residents should park on the odd-numbered side of the street (south and east side of the street).

For those with any questions on alternate parking, contact the Manistee City Police Department at (231) 723-2533. With questions on snow removal, contact Jeff Mikula, DPW director, at (231) 723-7132.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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