Following significant snow and extended freezing temperatures during the past week that have challenged the around-the-clock snow-and-ice removal efforts of Edmonds Public Works crews, Mayor Mike Nelson said Monday he is committed to updating the city’s snow response plan.
“Our dedicated public works crews have worked day and night plowing snow that has refused to melt because of the extended freezing weather,” Nelson said in a city-issued press release. “Like you, my streets haven’t been plowed either. I, too, have been frustrated with the sheer amount of snow that has made it difficult to travel in our community. With our climate crisis, weather events like this snowstorm are likely to increase in frequency and strength in the near future.”
Nelson said he has asked Acting Public Works Director Rob English “to completely reassess our snow removal plan. This will include examining if we need more equipment, more staff, or more routes to effectively respond to these anticipated changes to winter weather,” Nelson said.
Updating the current plan will also include identifying the most current practices of snow removal that can be utilized while weighing the environmental impacts of those techniques, Nelson said. “We need to review our sand and salt mixture but must be cautious because salt is toxic to the fish and wildlife of Puget Sound.”
With the recent storm, the City of Edmonds street maintenance group began their snow response on Dec. 25, the city said. This included plowing, sanding with a salt/sand mixture, and other measures initiated in a round-the-clock rotation of 12-hour shifts with city snowplows, sanding trucks, and other incident-response and assist vehicles.
Two plows were operating 24 hours a day, with a third plow working 14 hours a day, the city said, with over 400 tons of sand and 3,000 gallons of anti-ice product were applied to city roads. Throughout the inclement weather, the city’s fleet maintenance crew kept all vehicles up and running.
The current plan can be viewed on city’s website under Winter Storm Response here