There's no taking a snow day for the Idaho Falls Streets Division. Fresh powder means it's time to get to work.
City of Idaho Falls Streets Superintendent Brian Cardon says, "A snow event is any accumulation of two inches or more on the roadway."
Since Thanksgiving, the City of Idaho Falls Streets Division has responded to multiple snow events with work heating up in the last few days.
Cardon says, "There's been a lot of time put into it. We've had guys working around the clock since last week trying to clear the streets as we get more and more snow."
When the snow falls, the city's streets are grouped into three priority levels.
Cardon says, "We have Priority 1 Streets which are our main and arterial roadways... Then, our Priority 2 Streets are our collector streets and also the streets that are around emergency facilities as well as schools... And then, the rest of our streets are the Priority 3 Streets which is the rest of the City of Idaho Falls."
It can take the streets division anywhere from 12 to 48 hours after a snow event to clear Priority 1 and 2 Streets, and it can take upwards of 72 hours to make it through Priority 3 Streets.
It's a big job that uses a lot of hands to complete.
Cardon says, "We have the streets employees as well as about 18 employees from other divisions helping us out right now."
To effectively clear all streets, it also takes the cooperation of city residents.
Cardon says, "Get your vehicle off the roadway. Give us some time to get through there, [give] our equipment space to do their work, so we can get it done safely."
Parking restrictions take effect in certain parts, or zones, of town after a snow event.
Cardon says, "That is the case in our Zone A areas. The narrower streets in town, the older streets in town."
Those streets have parking restriction for about one workday, and Idaho Falls Streets Division employees say your cooperation moving your vehicle helps them help you.
Cardon says, "Just be patient with us. We're trying to clear these roads as fast as we possibly can."
With the series of snow storms over the last week, Idaho Falls contracted extra equipment to make the snow removal process quicker than it would have been.