'Majestic' scene greets those digging out from storm

Quincy Public Schools let students out three hours early on Thursday. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Feb. 22, 2013 9:29 am Updated: Mar. 16, 2013 5:31 pm
Skyler Forrest is helped by his best friend while shoveling snow Friday morning along Seventh Street in Quincy. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

While snowplows were busy pushing away the remnants of the latest storm to hit the area Friday morning, Quincy's Sarah Malaney soaked up the scene just before dawn.

"It's beautiful," Malaney said. "It's 30 degrees, and there is snow on the ground. It's completely majestic."

Malaney and her running mate, Ginny Roberts, were just about done with a 3-mile run about 5:45 a.m. near 30th and Broadway. Their final destination was Starbucks, where a group of runners meets every Friday. Even after Thursday's storm dumped more than a half-foot of snow on the Gem City, members of the group were up early to attack the roads.

"The roads are not terrible," said Roberts, who is training for a marathon next week in Little Rock, Ark. "The Quincy crews have done a great job. Where it's a little packed, it's a little slick, but it was great. It was a nice, casual, leisure run to enjoy winter's majesty, and hopefully she won't come back."

Malaney and Roberts were two of the few people out early braving the wintry weather. Most of the people milling around Quincy streets at that hour were involved with cleanup efforts. Carl Buckwalter of Leffer's Landscaping was working on about two hours of sleep after a long day Thursday.

"The first couple of hours, it's fun," Buckwalter said about 5:30 a.m. Friday as he finished cleaning the lot at Staples on Broadway. "Then it's like, ‘I'm sick of seeing snow.' "

City and county roads crews worked through the night to get roads cleared for today's commute. Quincy Director of Central Services Marty Stegeman said city crews were still having trouble Friday morning getting the roads cleared.

"The snow has so much moisture, it's turning to ice underneath," Stegeman said. "We are getting hung up in our own windrows pretty consistently."

At 6:45 a.m. Friday, Stegeman said only 5 percent of the streets in Quincy neighborhoods were clear. He said crews had made at least one pass through every neighborhood. He expected it to be another tough day after crews fought traffic and quick snowfalls Thursday.

"We're still fighting," he said. "Our trucks are getting stuck frequently."

The city has 12 crews working each 12-hour shift. Stegeman said the first trucks hit the streets at 11:10 a.m. Thursday as the snow began falling. Stegeman said his crews did the best they could to keep up with the storm.

"With the amount of snow that came down per hour, we just couldn't keep up with it," Stegeman said.

Adams County snow removal crews seemed to have more success.

County engineer Jim Frankenhoff said county roads were "fair and improving" at about 6:15 a.m. Friday. Frankenhoff said the county had crews out until 10 p.m. Thursday and hit the roads again at 4 a.m. Friday.

"We had some whiteout conditions outside the city yesterday," he said. "We tried to get the accumulated snow to the edge of the row. Today, we're trying to get that snow on the edge further off the edge. We're putting materials down now. Temperatures are in the 30s, which helps salt melt. If we can get some sun this morning, it should break up the snowpack."

Businesses along Quincy's Broadway corridor, many of which shut down Thursday afternoon, were back in business Friday morning. There were a few people inside the Hardee's at 30th and Broadway just after 5 a.m. The dining room at the restaurant closed at 6 p.m. Thursday, but the drive-through remained open all night.

"It takes a lot for us to close," one employee said.

Starbucks at 3115 Broadway was open again after closing early Thursday afternoon. Nathan Kurz, a shift manager, said he was seeing many of his usual customers.

"We're expecting the drive-through to be pretty busy this morning," Kurz said. "People still want their coffee, but they're not going to want to get out of their car in this stuff."

Kurz said it took him about 20 minutes to make what is usually a five-minute drive to work Friday morning.

Stegeman is urging drivers to budget extra time for their travels as cleanup continues. He anticipates that the city will have to call in another crew at 7 p.m. Friday to work through the night to continue work on the snow-clogged roads.

Weather observers at Lock and Dam No. 21 in Quincy reported receiving 6.5 inches of snow Thursday. Lock and Dam No. 20 in Canton, Mo., received 5.5 inches.




The Lincoln-Douglas monument in Washington Park during the snowstorm. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)