With the frequency of snow storms and amount of snow anticipated to exceed over at least 12 inches heading into New Years’ Eve and New Year’s Day, officials with the Public Works department cautioned residents today to manage expectations for snow removal for the next few days.
Beginning this afternoon and in anticipation of tonight’s approaching storm, crews will not be able to remove snow from the bike lanes on Diamond and Canyon.
“We need to wait until the snow can be hauled away from the lanes in order to open up the streets and sidewalks,” Public Works Director Philo Shelton said.
Shelton asked for the community to be patient with snow-clearing crews who are working diligently to keep up with the amount and frequency of snow hitting Los Alamos right now.
“The level of service for snow removal will be diminished since there is no room left to push accumulated snow,” he said. “Keep in mind that when it is not snowing, our crews are collecting and hauling away the accumulated snow. However, this is a very slow process. The County crews can either plow snow or haul snow but cannot do both activities at the same time.”
Shelton said that the short days and bitter cold temperatures are a contributing factor that is making it a challenge for crews to clear the snow. Snow that is being plowed to the edge of the roads and parking lots isn’t melting in between the back-to-back snow storms affecting Los Alamos.
“Los Alamos County has a Snow and Ice Control plan in place,” Shelton said, “and we will be following this plan very closely. Under that plan, we have streets prioritized in three tiers from 1 being high usage to tier three being the lowest impact levels. Main thoroughfares such as Trinity, Rover, and Central will be our highest priority. Parking lots for County facilities are lower, so please avoid any unnecessary travel over the next few days and be prepared for trekking across some snowy lots and sidewalks if you do need to be out and about.”
Shelton said the County has posted the priority list for streets and snow plowing at:
How can the community help? Shelton suggested residents can assist crews several ways:
“Shovel snow from your driveway and sidewalks into your yard instead of the street. Keep your vehicles off the street if possible. Windrow from street plowing are now inevitable and will require you to clear the windrow from your driveway,” he said. “Please lend a hand to an elderly neighbor if you are able, and please be patient and understanding with crews who are working hard to keep up with some massive snow removal as a result of the last two storms, as well as keeping streets cleared of more snow expected between today and Wednesday.”