There's "snow where" to go for Fillmore County plows - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

There's "snow where" to go for Fillmore County plows


PRESTON, Minn. (KTTC) -- There is a stark comparison between the condition of Rochester's city roads and the roads in more rural areas. There are nearly 500 miles of county roads in Fillmore County, and drivers have been working constantly to get them clear. 

Their biggest challenge is not packed ice; it's that there's nowhere left for the snow to go. 

"We've got twice as much time on the roads this year as we did last," said Brent Kohn, the maintenance superintendent of the Fillmore County Highway Department. 

The time has been much needed, but contrary to more high traffic areas there's hardly a trace of last week's blizzard on many Fillmore county roads.

"We got a chance to clean it off before we got a lot of traffic on it," he said. "And I think that's the problem with a lot of the other places is they had a lot more traffic on it than we did."
Fillmore county has 15 trucks, each with a route around 40 miles in their section of the county.

"It takes 4 hours to make one trip over them, so two trips is an 8 hour day of plowing," Kohn continued. 

Drives have been working 15 hour days starting at 4 a.m. to get roads back in good shape.

They're not dealing with packed ice on the roads, but pileups on the side.

"There's nowhere for it to go, and there's nowhere to push it, so the roads just get narrower," said Kohn.

In fact, the road is down to one lane in several areas as snow stacks up on the blacktop.

"We have one snow blower, a big one, and we've got a week's worth of work to do with that," said Kohn. "I don't remember the last time we actually had to blow roads."

Although this has been a tough winter for plow drivers, Kohn said the bitterly cold and dry snow we've gotten up until now has saved the county quite a bit of sand and salt. 
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