Some Omaha residents have to salt their own streets

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 3:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - City snow plow operators won’t be the only ones out clearing the streets when the next snowstorm moves in.

Some Omaha residents are willing to help out in some of the city’s tough spots.

When the Omaha streets become covered in ice and snow, the snow plows move out to clear a path. But if you live on top of a big hill, it might be hard for the snow plows to get to your street.

Trying to climb up a slick hill in a big truck can be difficult and going the other way could be dangerous.

“One year we had a snow plow driver that was doing our area for a long time and he actually made the mistake of going down a hill, said John Klaumann. And he went through my neighbor’s yard with the plow, dropped and tore it probably about two feet deep.”

The city helps deal with the problem by getting some help from residents. Upon request, Omaha will bring out a big orange barrel of salt and sand.

The City of Omaha Engineer, Todd Pfitzer, said, “on a hill like that people can go out and spread it themselves. Nine times out of 10, it’s a residential type of street and it’s not getting thousands of cars a day.”

John Klaumann has requested a barrel of salt and sand for about 20 years.

“It works very good, you can tell my hills are very steep and it saves my neighbors getting up the hill,” said Klaumann.

Jerry Zulfer also has an orange barrel in his neighborhood, he says the sand and salt helps during the cold months of the school year.

“This is very slick at times and we have a school up the top of the hill, said Zulfer. A lot of times parents have problems getting up and down the hill and the city has went and put sand barrels out in case they get stuck.”

John says the city will refill the barrel when the salt and sand gets low and spreading sand and salt on steep snowy streets isn’t for everyone. But he says he doesn’t mind helping out city snow plow drivers who do the lion’s share of the work.

City crews will treat residential streets after a snow event where step grades or other conditions make it necessary.

It’s too late this year to request a salt and sand barrel. The city maintenance department takes requests from Oct. 1st until Dec. 1st.

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