City Of Sioux Falls Prepares For Major Snow Storm

Street And Utilities Manager: 'This is going to be wet.'

The City of Sioux Falls is gearing up for a major winter storm. Street crews are preparing for around a foot of heavy, wet snow with significant wind gusts in the mix.

Street and Utilities Manager Galynn Huber says with the warm weather, city employees have been making sure the equipment is ready to go for snow.

“The sanders, the spinners on the sanders, both our salt and our liquid, our motor graders. We’re taking a look at the cutting edges on all of those,” said Huber.

Huber says they don’t pretreat the roads ahead of any snow.

“(If) they’re telling me I’m getting snow and I put, pretreat and it doesn’t happen. I have all that chemical out on the street that’s not doing any good,” said Huber.

Instead, they watch 10 different street cameras, placed at the busiest intersections across the city.

Huber said, “We can see the first snow flake hitting and then we can put chemical down right at that time.”

That’s when crews will head out, applying salt with a liquid calcium chloride mix to the roads.

“That cuts through to even the coldest of temperatures. Now I will tell you that our chemical works really well in wet and a little bit warmer temperatures so at 30 degrees and wet snow, our chemical should react really well,” Huber said.

With the amount of snow Sioux Falls is expecting, Huber says they’ll have to apply a lot of it. With no warm weather expected behind the storm, he’ll say he will likely be issuing a snow alert.

Huber said, “I don’t have an opportunity to for the snow to be melting off so I will probably have to plow it out and with 13 inches, I’m going to definitely plow it out.”

Along with 25 contractors, a snow alert requires 100 city employees every 12 hours. Within 24 to 30 hours, they’ll cover 3,000 lane miles.

Huber said, “This is going to be wet, and again, the wind’s going to be blowing so it’s going to be brutal out there a little bit.”

Huber says they won’t start plowing residential streets until the snow stops falling. He expects to get to those sometime late Friday into early Saturday morning.

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