Snow Still Causing Problems On Area Roads

SPOKANE — Out on the Palouse you’ll find a variety of driving conditions. Highway 195 is bare and wet all the way to Pullman, but pull off on one of the many side roads and you’ll find that the snow is still causing serious problems.

While the Cheney-Spangle road was closed for it’s fourth straight day on Sunday, most of the other major roads on the Palouse were at least passable.

On Sunday, rotary plows hit some of the roads in the Palouse claiming at least enough space to allow one lane of traffic to pass. However on the rolling hills of the Palouse having just one lane cleared could be a danger to head-on collisions.

Spokane County Public Information Officer Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter detailed the county’s plow plan for the Palouse.

“What we want to do is get into those primary arterials and emergency routes, widen those to two lanes, maybe even more so that you have some room on the shoulder, but that’s a monumental effort.”

Friday’s snow was lighter and had the consistency of fine powder. Over the weekend that snow has changed into wet and heavy snow, becoming much too heavy for some of the county’s snow clearing equipment to move.

Spokane County has contracted out some of the road clearing work to private companies with bulldozers to help clear the wet, heavy snow. These same crews are also knocking down snow berms to improve visibility at intersections on the Palouse.

“It’s for the people who come through here without having to jump through the berms where it’s real icy. It gives them better vision so they don’t have to run the stop signs and get out of here,” Dan Groat said.

In Downtown Spokane, city crews are removing the berms that have plagued city roads for well over a week. Crews took advantage of the weekend’s warmer temperatures to help them melt the berms away. Plows took several swipes at the berms to spread them out across city streets, aiding in the melting process.

Even area soccer fields received a little snow removal aid on Sunday as parents and players alike took to the fields armed with shovels. Around 70 volunteers took part in snow clearing festivities at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex.

With the snow out of the picture, emergency officials are turning their attention to some incoming rain that has the potential to increase the weight of the snow that is already on the roofs of many area homes.

If you notice that your doors are sticking, your windows leaking, or any other unusual noises for that matter, it could be a sign that your roof needs shoveling.