County plows back out on the roads in west central Minn.
WILLMAR – After a couple area counties temporarily pulled their plows off their routes this morning because of white-out conditions, crews are back out removing April snow from roads.
“We’re going to hit our blacktops first and be on the gravel after that,” said Steve Chandler, from the Renville County Highway Department.
Renville County plows were pulled off the roads early this morning but were back in commission around 9 a.m.
Although the snow has tapered off, improving visibility, there’s a “little cake of ice underneath, so it’s slippery,” said Chandler.
Yellow Medicine County plows were also put back in the shop this morning when conditions were hazardous but crews were heading back out around 9:30 a.m. to make another attempt at clearing roads, according to a county highway spokesman.
Dave Fritz, maintenance supervisor for Kandiyohi County, said plows are “slowly, but surely, making their way around” the county roads.
Blacktop roads are first priority, he said. They intend to “make an attempt” on the gravel roads after that.
Although heavy snowfall early this morning caused visibility issues, Fritz said the “snow itself doesn’t seem to be much of a problem now, but it’s the ice underneath.”
Fritz made the rounds on many county roads this morning to check conditions. He said he didn’t see vehicles in the ditch but conceded “I didn’t see that many cars on the roads either.”
There was an incident with one Kandiyohi County snow plow that tore off a wing that sunk into the soft gravel shoulder on a tar road. It’s not unusual for something like that to happen during late-spring storms.
Fritz said he expects crews will be out again on Friday to mop up any additional snow that’s expected to fall.
After that, he said, “We’ll hope the sun comes out.”