Plows Were A Rare Sight To See In Downtown Tulsa

Tuesday, February 17th 2015, 11:09 pm
By: News On 6

Downtown streets look better after our most recent snow, but that wasn't the case early Tuesday morning as thousands tried to make their way to work on slick roads.

City plows were not a regular sight downtown and, as a result, more than a day after the, storm inches of snow and ice sat along some main roads.

"I did get stuck on Boston Avenue today but a really nice gentleman came by and offered to push my car and he did, so I was fine," said downtown driver, Libby Billings.

Billings owns two restaurants downtown and said the city streets were a bit challenging, but Tulsa just isn't used to this kind of weather.

"They can plow as much as they possibly can but there's always gonna be some issues because we're not Denver, we don't get snow year-round, so we don't handle it as well as these other cities, but we handle other things really well," she said.

Tulsa's street maintenance manager, Tim McCorkell said plows could only make a few rounds downtown because they had close to 2,000 lane miles to cover as well.

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"It takes so much more of our resources. We barely have enough people to even put in the trucks and loaders to address our streets," McCorkell said.

The city didn't' get much help from the sun either, as tall downtown buildings make it tough for the sun to shine through and help melt the snow on some streets.

"We have to continue to salt, we would rather salt a couple of times than have to remove it because we don't have the resources to remove it all," McCorkell said.

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For this storm alone, crews used more than 3,000 tons of salt within the city limits at a price tag of close to $200,000.

With downtown growing so rapidly, McCorkell said the city is aware that it has to meet that demand.

"I had positions frozen for almost a year last year but we are hiring now, with positions getting filled. We are gaining and we are getting more resources and boots on the ground," he said.

After treating the streets with salt for this last storm, 7,500 tons of salt remain for fiscal year, which ends June 30.