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Frustration Building Over Slow Snow Cleanup

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A person digs out his driveway after a snow storm December 12, 2010 in Minneapolis. (credit: Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

A person digs out his driveway after a snow storm December 12, 2010 in Minneapolis. (credit: Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

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By Dennis Douda, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Roads in Minnesota virtually shut down because of the snow. Plows were out most of the day, but just could not keep up.

Once you hit the side streets in Minneapolis and St. Paul, things were even worse.

Some people are complaining, especially in St. Paul, saying their streets didn’t even see a plow until Monday.

On Monday morning, St. Paul put 103 pieces of snow-fighting equipment out on the city’s roads.

But St. Paul resident Harry Jones is having a hard time appreciating the city’s efforts from his view on a Frogtown neighborhood street.

“If you park in front of your house and if a school bus comes down here, it won’t be able to get passed. So you’re going to have a lot of delays and, granted it is a lot of snow, still they could have done a better job than what they did over here,” said Jones.

“We ask all of our residents, first of all, for patience. They should know that we aren’t being patient; we are working very, very hard,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

To demonstrate the city’s all-hands-on-deck effort, Coleman rallied the heads of public works, emergency services, police and fire departments at a news conference Monday afternoon.

According to a St. Paul city official, there are 284 million cubic feet of snow to deal with on the city’s 1,874 miles of streets.

“We’re not going to stop, we’ll figure out how to finance this thing,” said Coleman.

How bad is the snow — even some city vehicles are getting stuck as they try to ticket vehicles that are ignoring the snow emergencies. St. Paul and Minneapolis did hold-off towing vehicles for the first couple days of the storm unless they were blocking traveled sections of the roads.

But now both cities will be moving into neighborhoods, ticketing cars and hauling away people who are parked on designated snow emergency routes.

Minneapolis said crews have been working around the clock since Friday evening, plowing and treating streets but were faced with the worst conditions in decades.

A second snow emergency has been declared in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minneapolis said the second snow emergency will allow crews to thoroughly plow all the city streets and alleys, and get to any areas that may have been missed.

WCCO-TV’s Dennis Douda Reports

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