INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Just in time for what could be our first measureable snow of the season, Indy Snow Force announced plans for fighting back against Mother Nature this winter.
It includes a new interactive map so you can keep up with the snow plows.
“I think it will be very helpful for the public to know in real time how those streets are being cleared, and when,” said DPW Director Lori Miser.
“It’ll be nice to know, rather than continuing to call the city, knowing in advance by checking the website,” said homeowner Gwen Cornell.
The city says the maps could also help save money because the technology will let them know which roads are already cleared, allowing crews to go someplace else.
But one driver has a different opinion about the benefits.
“I don’t know if that helps us or not,” said driver Cort Thomas. “When we drive back and forth we kind of go through our areas and on the way home we see what needs to be done and not be done, and all the managers do too. So by the time we get to work everybody knows what they’re supposed to be doing.”
The city has 18,700 tons of salt on hand with another 30,000 tons on order. Because of last year’s harsh winter they’re paying more for it: $78 per ton this year. Last year they paid $74 per ton.
“We now have a fleet that meets our needs, is reliable, and better equips our drivers to do their jobs,” said Miser.
The city is responsible for clearing 396 square miles, and with their equipment and supplies in check, they say what they need now is a little bit of patience.
“We just want people to understand that we’re out there being as safe as we possibly can and we do know what streets are supposed to be plowed and we will get the streets plowed,” said Thomas.
The city also announced that its changing when they call in private contractors to clear snow from neighborhoods. Last winter DPW waited until six inches fell to call them in, but this year they’ll be called when six inches is forecast.
“We’re going to get them out soon. Plow while it’s snowing. That will make it easier, plus it will get people moving quicker,” said Miser.
The city is responsible for clearing 6,900 lane miles, that’s more than double cities like St Louis, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.
City officials said on Friday that all the preparation in the world won’t help if you remain on the roads during snow events. They’re not only asking you to stay home when major snow is forecast, but also to park your cars off the street if it’s available.