Road crews having a tough time clearing roads - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Road crews having a tough time clearing roads

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- We've started a new work week and last week's blizzard is still fresh on many minds, as well as under our tires.

We still have snow and ice packed on the roads. If you're not slipping and sliding, it feels like you're going through a series of speed bumps.  Fortunately conditions are improving thanks to some hard work.

The sound of an arsenal of plows and graders trying to pry off ice and snow rang through Rochester on Monday. Plows have been out in full force trying to rid the city streets of ice, but it's proving to be an uphill battle.

"The hardest part is surface temperatures getting up to the right temp, so that our equipment can remove the snow off of the pavement," said Mike Burns of Rochester Public Works.

Prior to the storm on Thursday, roads were pre-treated as is with most cases before a winter storm hits. This time though, light rain washed off those chemicals. As temperatures dropped, the snow froze to the road surfaces.

"With the chemicals we put on this morning and the sun came out we actually got a little bit of softening of the ice," said Burns. "We just had four graders go by and you can actually see the difference in the street."

The February sun is the only positive to this battle. As the sun gets higher in the sky, more direct sunlight goes into melting the snow and ice, but it's not warming up the air very well, making salt pretty much useless.

"To get the compacted snow off, it makes quite a large noise," said Burns. "You can hear all of the down pressure that the trucks are actually putting on the street."

As crews across the area work around the clock, they ask one thing.

"Just have patience with us," said Burns. "We're trying to get there, but we only have so many people."

It doesn't appear mother nature is going to help out at all. In fact, temperatures will just get colder before they get warmer, so as Burns said, patience is a virtue. Just know that public works crews are out there getting the job done.

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