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Otter Tail County crew has already plowed thousands of miles this winter

With all the recent snowfall, the crew's been very busy lately.

OTC Snowplow Drivers.jpg
Otter Tail County snowplow drivers out of the Fergus Falls Garage in 2022 include: Isidore Lindberg, Dennis Bosek, Brody Bakken, Randy Wulfekuhle, Gerald Holo, Trent Harthun and Mark Hauge. County-wide, 25 drivers cover 25 routes. (Contributed / Otter Tail County / Perham Focus)

Plowing roads is a matter of public safety, and Otter Tail County snowplow drivers are a dedicated crew that takes public safety seriously. With all the recent snowfall, that crew's been very busy lately.

The county's highway department maintenance personnel say the removal of snow and ice from county roads is their most important job during the winter. They're sometimes called upon to clear private roadways for medical services or law enforcement so those agencies can provide emergency help to residents.

“Thank you to all the plow drivers that have been out all hours and, in all conditions, working hard to maintain our county roads,” commented Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons in a news release. “One example of their dedication, during our last big snow event, was their willingness to plow an opening to a residence in the county to allow an ambulance to get in to render care during a medical emergency. Our deputies and emergency responders would not be able to respond to the emergency calls without the hard work of the local, county and state plow drivers. Your work is appreciated.”

According to the release:

  • Otter Tail County drivers plow 2,100 'lane miles' per snow event.
  • It takes about 8-12 hours to plow a significant snow event, with 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. being a typical shift, with only enough personnel to operate one shift daily.
  • Each area has a group leader who is responsible for watching the weather. If there is a 20% chance or greater of snow, the leader reports to work to assess the needs in their area.
  • Roadways are plowed by several different agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation, County Highway Departments and township and city crews.

During a recent snow event, county commissioner Dan Bucholz, of District 1, rode with county snowplow driver Greg Januszewski to experience the work the highway maintenance crews perform.
After that ride-along, Bucholz said, “Thank you snowplow drivers. The drivers have a tough job in some pretty harsh conditions, but they work hard to get the roads cleared. We really appreciate the work they do.”

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Want to thank a snowplow driver? Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Slow down and stay back.
  2. Do not plow snow from your property into the road or onto sidewalks.
  3. Do not store items in the right of way.
  4. Prepare your mailbox properly with a swing arm and maintain its care.

The goal of the county's winter highway maintenance department is to keep people and products moving as efficiently and safely as possible on county highways during adverse winter weather conditions, within the limits of the financial resources and staffing levels available.
To learn more about the county's snow removal and ice control policies, visit ottertailcountymn.us/snow-removal-ice-control/ .

Related Topics: OTTER TAIL COUNTY
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