Plows work to wrap up cleanup -- before next storm hits

John and Martha Pappenfoht clear their driveway Friday along South 17th Street in Quincy. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Feb. 22, 2013 9:29 pm Updated: Mar. 22, 2013 9:54 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Snowplows spent another night on the road, continuing the cleanup in Quincy's neighborhoods after a winter storm swept through the area.

Most of the city's primary roads and designated snow emergency routes already are clear curb to curb, but in the neighborhoods, "we're still struggling to get through them, to get them all cleared as best we can," Quincy Director of Central Services Marty Stegeman said late Friday afternoon. "We're getting close, but we still have a lot to do."

Plows worked their way through neighborhood streets, putting down salt and chloride to break up the packed snow with the first pass, then coming back through a second time to clear away more snow.

Stegeman said residents still can do their part to help make the process go faster.

"If they can keep the cars off the streets, that would be a tremendous help," he said.

Across Adams County, roads were reported in good condition, with no plows out on the roads overnight.

"Our interstates are looking real good, but a lot of secondary roads are snowpacked," said Trooper Mike Kindhart, safety education officer at the Illinois State Police District 20 headquarters in Pittsfield. "With the temperature fluctuating right around 32 degrees, we'll start seeing more black ice. We still need to proceed with caution."

From the emergency response perspective, "it's another snowstorm behind us," said John Simon, director of the Adams County Emergency Management Agency. "Now we can start looking at what Monday will bring."

National Weather Service forecasts call for a 60 percent chance of snow showers possibly mixed with rain showers beginning Monday morning and continuing throughout the day and a 40 percent chance of snow on Tuesday.

"It looks like there could be accumulating snow in the area Monday and Monday night, but how much it's way too early to say at this point," said Ben Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. "At this point, it doesn't look to be quite as strong (as Thursday's storm), with not as much precipitation, but obviously things can change."

Forecast models "are kind of all over the place," Miller said, suggesting the next storm coming from the west could start as rain, then switch to snow, or stay all snow.

"If it is all snow, it could be several inches, but it's way too early to talk about exact amounts," Miller said.

More snow, in any amount, would mean more challenges in keeping roads clear. "It's just going to create a little bit of a mess," Simon said.

"Here in the Midwest, people are relatively used to winter weather. It's just been a couple of years since we had some significant snowfall," he said. "From our vantage point, this really was a normal event. It wasn't anything comparable to ‘Snowpacolypse' 2011, just maybe a little more snow than a routine event."

While the cleanup work continues, Kindhart still urges people to stay off the roads.

"We're still suggesting to ones who want to just get out and travel a little bit to give us another day or so, through the weekend, to get prepared for this next storm possibly coming through," Kindhart said.

More snow could draw mixed reactions from area residents.

"It all depends what you're looking for," Simon said. "If you're a snow lover, this brings these two years here to an interesting close. If you're ready for spring, you're probably not liking it very much."