What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

February Blizzard Recap
During the February blizzard, Pleasant Prairie received more than 25 inches of snow. The average annual snowfall is typically between 45 and 50 inches. During this single event, the Village received almost half of the average snowfall for the year within 24 hours.

When snow starts to fall, the Pleasant Prairie Public Works Department activates its Snow and Ice Removal Plan. Exactly what happens depends upon the amount of precipitation that has fallen, what’s predicted to fall, the temperature, the expected duration of the storm, and the moisture content. During a large snowstorm or blizzard, the Village puts Public Works crews to work in force. Every available operator and piece of equipment is out on the roadway. The volume of snow, severity of drifting and visibility will determine both how quickly and effectively the available equipment will be able to clear the roadways.

Pleasant Prairie Public Works crews worked throughout the weekend following the blizzard to clean up and widen roadways. Crews had been out in force since the snow began to fall. While attempting to maintain regular snow plow routes, the plow crew’s primary focus during the storm was to clear main roadways and paths for emergency responders. Plow crews provided escorts on every fire and police call that was received during the storm due to the dangerous conditions.

During a blizzard, visibility can be extremely limited, even non-existent. At times, it may be impossible for a driver to know where the road is or to see any dangers ahead in the roadway. When snowfall is extremely heavy and drifting is severe, a snowplow may not have enough horsepower to move massive amounts of snow.

When this is the case, heavy equipment must be brought in to assist in snow removal. Additionally, when snow piles are higher than the capacity of the plow blade, commercial size snow blowers and front end loaders must be used to blow or lift the snow beyond the height of the drift or pile. For these reasons, you can expect that snow removal from Village roadways will take longer than under typical snowfall conditions.

The financial impact for the 48-hour period surrounding the storm has been estimated at more than $130,000, though total clean-up costs will exceed $200,000. During the budgeting process, Pleasant Prairie sets aside enough dollars to handle approximately 47 inches of snow, the average annual snowfall for our area. Pleasant Prairie, with the assistance of Kenosha County, has requested a declaration of disaster from the Governor. If approved, the Village will then qualify to receive federal funding through FEMA to help partially replenish the budget for costs incurred during the 48-hour period.

As crews worked to widen and clean the roadways, snow was often deposited at the base of residential driveways. The Village understands the amount of effort it takes for residents to clear their driveways and that it is inconvenient to have to clear a driveway multiple times. In the interest of keeping the roadways passable, clean and safe, however, this secondary effect of snow removal is unfortunately unavoidable. If you know of any neighbors that may need assistance with snow removal during future events, we ask, that if you are able, please consider offering your assistance.

If your mailbox or signposts in your neighborhood have been damaged during storm cleanup efforts, you are asked to contact 925-6700 Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Staff will be on hand to take your information. Crews will be visiting those who have called to provide a temporary repair for the winter. Once the ground thaws, crews will be able to break the ground to replace mailbox and sign posts where necessary.

The Village would like to thank all those who took the time to telephone or email with comments regarding the recent snow plowing efforts. Your feedback is appreciated. See a message regarding melting snow and the storm sewer on page 5.

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