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Winter weather hits area: How City of Rugby workers clear snow

By Staff | Jan 4, 2019

Although Central North Dakota enjoyed a relatively mild start to winter, the City of Rugby Department of Public Works was ready to go when two recent storms piled snowdrifts onto local roads.

A few days after last week’s snowfall, Street and Sewer Supervisor Troy Munyer took a short break from equipment maintenance to describe Rugby’s protocol for keeping roadways clear after storms.

Munyer said forecasters “said 4 inches on the weather reports, but there was more than that on the last one (snowstorm). And then the one before was probably 3 and a half, and then all those little dustings they probably added up to 2 and a half, three inches with all of them. “

The accumulations and winds that followed meant some spots in town saw about a foot of snow.

After heavy snowfall, Rugby’s Public Works Department starts work very early in the morning.

“Normally, we start at 4 a.m.,” Munyer noted. “We go uptown and do the business areas, and pile it all up, and then we start the emergency routes, and then we do the rest of the town.”

He added, “We take care of the frontage roads and approaches out on Highway 3 and 2. We have all those to clear, too. We clear the city building (driveways), too.”

Munyer said equipment pushes snow from the streets, creating piles to be scooped into trucks, which take it to an even larger pile on Dewey Street.

“Then, we have a pasture where we clean (the snow) out and haul it to, west of town,” Munyer added.

Storms can sometimes take residents by surprise, but Munyer said city workers appreciate help from vehicle and property owners to keep streets clear.

“The best thing would be to remove cars when they hear us (with the blade),” Munyer noted. “We make 4 passes up and down the street. We go up the middle, back and forth, and then we go along the edges, back and forth. So, when they hear us make the first pass, we can make it around the vehicles easier on the first pass, but when we make the second pass, that’s when we (have trouble).”

“And then,” he continued, “clean their driveways. When we’re out there blading, and it’s white everything’s white. It’s hard to tell where the driveway’s at unless you actually remember there’s a driveway there. If they have it shoveled, then you know.”

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