Frustration Building Over Slow Snow Cleanup

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

  • Shane G

    Waaaahhhhh wahhhhhhh wahhhhhhh..cry like a little baby. At least you have a warm car to drive you around in. I have to walk everywhere in 2 feet of snow but I realize people are doing the best they can do clear the roads. Don’t like it? Get your own plow or you can donate a few million to the county for more plow trucks.

    • Jill Walek

      Wooohooo! Go Shane! I live in the Loring Park neighborhood and I walk to work Downtown every day. This was a very bad snowstorm, and I have personally seen and said hi to the people helping clean up the snow. In my honest opinion, they are all doing a great job.

  • Kelly

    Harry Jones. You are a complete idiot! Get your lazy ass out their and help if you want the snow removed. The city only has so many workers and so many plow trucks. They have been working around the clock and their is nothing that can be done to speed up the service as this is allot of SNOW! Pull your head out of your A##

  • Anthony Mellema

    People need to grow up. You live in Minnesota. You know snow is coming and when it is here. You all know the procedure of what to do when we have one inch or twenty. If you don’t like it MOVE other wise do what is needed to help get the job done.

  • Jim

    I remember the Holloween Blizzard of 1991 the Street I lived on,Banfil St. in St.Paul, We lost 11 feet of street. In width . And no body got towed off the street,so the plow job sucked.

  • Mark S.

    I live in outstate MN…..our roads were completely plowed out by Sunday morning…..

  • Sam

    Yes we do live in Minnesota. Regardless of the fact that we havent had a storm like this in quite awhile the public works should have a system in place to handle this ALOT better. Kids should not miss school for the sole reason that the streets arent plowed when it stopped snowing 2 days ago.

  • Tina

    I live in Richfield and all streets were cleared by early Sun morning. There is no excuse for St Paul/Mpls schools to be closed on Mon, They knew the storm was coming, they should have been prepared. They all Sat night, Sunday and Sun night to clear the streets.

  • JamieinMN

    Keep in mind people, these are LARGE cities. That equals more streets to plow, more crew members to hire, more trucks needed, etc. On top of IDIOTS who don’t know where to park which then means they have to call a tow truck FIRST before they can even start plowing!! Patience people!

  • Noah Lamont

    ““We’re not going to stop, we’ll figure out how to finance this thing,” said Coleman.
    He clearly is out of touch. FIRE & POLICE and keeping the roads clear so that they can do their jobs are the #! reason for city governments to exist. Find a way to finance it. How about not painting silly bicycle lanes on streets for cars and trucks? Priorities Mr. Coleman, it is about priorities. Too much government in too many directions leads to this sort of problem. St. Paul has an abysmal record of snowplowing. Why do you who live there tolerate such willfully poor service from your elected people?

  • Jill

    I say shame on those who are complaining. I live in St. Paul and I know they are trying very hard to clear the snow. It doesn’t help that idiots tried to drive in the storm and got stuck and instead of trying to dig out their cars they left them. If you block the road they can’t get the plow truck through. That’s not the plow dirvers fault. Also, these people who are complaining about their tickets they should pay more attention to the snow emergeny rules. Maybe then they wouldn’t have gotten ticketed and/or towed. I know in this day and age of instant everything from coffee to e-mails we expect things done immediatly, but somethings can’t be rushed. You rush a snow plow and someones car might get hit, or worse. Have a little sympathy for these plow drivers. They are working around the clock to clear it up.

    • barb

      JILL, Get your story straight before you throw insults around. A lot of those that got tickets weren’t at fault. Rule goes you park on one side of the street they come plow the other side then you move your cars over to the other side of the street. We are aware of the snow emergency rules. Listen to the message from the snow emergency number they say after they plow… but if they never plow then are we really suppose to move the cars over or wait for them to plow what they wanted to plow first? We get that the snow plows are backed up. Fine. I understand that. I am just annoyed that I am paying for cops that have no common sense and go and ticket cars in which the city is at fault instead of paying for more plows.

  • Jason

    Why not sub-contract the “smaller city” plow trucks to help out early this week in the big city, seems like the small town plows have been done since Sunday. Prob, Maybe, Mlps/St. Paul could pay extra to the workers and to the small city crews to help out? Which would limit the OT paid to its own crews, not to mention the fatigue the big city crews have by now. Collaboration is the name of the game!!!

    • JamieinMN

      It’s called keeping a budget….It’s quite possible that this storm has put Mpls OVER their budget.

    • TaraLee

      Is there something with the employees being Union and their contract saying they can’t bring in other cities? Not sure but that maybe a reason why they haven’t…

  • Xian Marxer

    We live in downtown St. Paul & our business is just across the street & yet on late Sunday afternoon we had to climb two mountians of snow to check on our store! As of Monday afternoon not all the major streets in downtown have been plowed full width! Where are taxes going?!

  • Winter wonderland

    It’s only snow. It may cause an inconvenience but it will go away. We know we’ll have a white Christmas. It’s Minnesota. Just enjoy and don’t get excited.

    • JamieinMN

      Worrrrrrrrrrd. People need to STFU

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