Hilliard's snow fighters did just fine following the first snow and ice of the season on Dec. 12, according to the city's public service director.

Hilliard's snow fighters did just fine following the first snow and ice of the season on Dec. 12, according to the city's public service director.

"We worked about 30 straight hours," said Butch Seidle. "We got done Monday afternoon. The exception was we had a few cul-de-sacs that we had to come and start working on Tuesday morning."

As residents know, cul-de-sacs are the lowest priority for snow removal in Hilliard, just as they are in other communities. The priority for snow removal is major arterials first, followed by minor arterials and collectors, then secondary streets, cul-de-sacs, alleys, dead ends and "eyebrows."

"Eyebrows are typically on a curve on a street," Seidle said, "a little half-moon shaped type of thing that is just difficult to plow, and they fall into the same category as cul-de-sacs. Eyebrows are usually heavily parked. They're just one of the last things we can get to."

The city is divided into four quadrants (a map can be viewed on the city's website), and one or two trucks are assigned to each quadrant and begin plowing the streets in order of priority when it snows.

According to the city's Snow and Ice Control Plan, "All arterials and collectors (all streets included on the salt route) will normally be plowed/salted within 4 to 6 hours after the onset of a storm." However, heavier snowfalls - say more than 10 inches - may require a day or more to plow and salt.

"It doesn't mean that everybody gets service at the same time, because you have to start somewhere and you have to end somewhere," Seidle said. "Depending on when the snow falls, we also sometimes have to go back."

Seidle said that despite record snowfall in February 2010, there are no changes in service planned or equipment purchases other than replacement of older trucks. The salt barn was full prior to the first snow, and the department will buy more rock salt if needed in 2011 and fill the barn at the end of the season.

Salt brine is typically applied before it snows.

The department is now a seven-day-a-week operation, Seidle said, so overtime isn't used as often in the past. However, he said, "some things happen at night, and snow and ice go sometimes 24/7."

Seidle said that residents can help the snow crews by parking in the driveway instead of in the streets.

"It makes for a more efficient plowing, it gets those drifts moved out," he said. "It would be an enormous help in efficiency of operation and how quickly we can get through the city. We know that's not possible everywhere, but where we can it's always very helpful."