Stage 2 snow event over, but berms here to stay

Stage 2 snow event over, but berms here to stay

The city wrapped up the Stage 2 Snow Event Friday, but more snow and bitter cold on the way means you won’t be saying goodbye to those berms in front of your driveway anytime soon.

“When this stuff hardens it’s like concrete. You’re not digging it out with a shovel,” said Jessie Coordes.

Coordes lives in Otis Orchards. He’s used to the annual battle with the berms.

“[The plows] don’t have the little blade on the graders that comes down and scoops the snow out of your driveway. They just plow you in and they keep right on going,” Coordes said.

But he’s fed up, saying that too many people that live on his street are older or disabled and are unable to shovel themselves out.

“People shouldn’t have to worry about getting in and out of their house if they have a fire or a medical emergency,” Coordes said.

“That’s not what we pay our taxes for,” he said.

Where Coordes lives, Spokane County determines the snow removal plan.

The county website does say that all roads and driveways will be bermed, as they don’t have the equipment to prevent it.

That’s not good enough for Coordes.

“Just having it plowed, and having it plowed right, that’s all I’m asking,” he said.

It could be worse.

In Otis Orchards, the roads are wide.

Back within Spokane city limits, cars must be moved to help crews clear the narrower streets.

“We do the streets the way we do, so that when were plowing the north and south streets, people can park on the east and west streets and then vice versa,” said city spokesperson Julie Happy.

That didn’t happen in Browne’s Addition this week. Enough cars were not moved that plowing was delayed into this morning.

The good news? No cars were towed today.

“We didn’t do any advertising on Friday, because we weren’t scheduled to plow on Friday, and we didn’t feel good about towing people’s cars,” Happy said.

The bad news: Cars that were left are now bermed in.

City or county, it’s the reality of a cold, snowy December – that will continue right into the new year.

“We’ve been very fortunate and blessed all the winters we’ve been here, we’ve always had a neighbor or somebody come down here and clean our roads for us. But, we shouldn’t have to,” Coordes said.

One way to ease your own snow burden is to fight berm with berm!

Building up your own wall of snow before the street gets plowed can help keep more snow from falling onto the sidewalk and into your shoveling area.

If you or someone you know is not physically able to shovel, you can contact the Washington Information network by dialing 2-1-1.

Catholic Charities volunteers are available to help shovel as well. For more information, see their website.