Crews work round-the-clock to clear Spokane streets

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane snow plow vo

From plowing to de-icing, Spokane street crews have been working around the clock to clear city streets.

"The guys have been chomping at the bit, they have been waiting," Mark Serbousek with the City Street Department said.

When the flakes started flying, the plows start moving.

"Today we have out 29 plows which are all on the major arterials and then we will go to the minor arterials," Serbousek said.

The work started Tuesday when crews de-iced the streets, and they've been working non-stop to clear the roads.

"They are on standby, ready to go at any minute, and if the storm comes in we will bring in additional people to combat it," Serbousek said.

Each year Spokane spends nearly $2.5 Million on its snow removal efforts. That money pays for materials and manpower, with roughly $1 Million of the budget dedicated to de-icer.

"We are still spending that budget even though we aren't getting the snow, we are still getting the freeze / thaw cycle you know where we are getting the black ice so it still requires the de-icer," Serbousek said.

This year - the city has a new piece of snow equipment, called a snow gate, which will be used when the city is in a stage two snow event with at least six inches of snow on the ground. This device helps to clear snow that would otherwise block people's driveways.

So far the snow gate has not been used yet.

If you want to up to the minute information on the city's plowing efforts and snow updates text "SNOW" to 385-5775.

"It just gets the information out quicker and faster, more people are using technology like texting, so it's just another opportunity to get the information out," Julie Happy with the City of Spokane said.

More than 1,000 people have signed up for the texting alerts. You can specify your location and get alerts about your neighborhood. For example, if you live in Browne's Addition, and the plows are coming through, you'll get a text alert that you need to move your car.