Olentangy Valley News

Snowy blasts haven't caught city, township by surprise


The official start to winter is slightly more than a week away, but Powell and Liberty Township snow plows already have gotten plenty of use.

To keep the 101 miles of Powell roadways clear for drivers, the city's service department has five plows and more than 300 tons of salt on hand of the 1,500 tons it could use in a typical year.

In case of inclement weather, seven public-service employees are on call to ensure the city can clear off primary and then secondary roads, said Powell spokeswoman Megan Canavan.

Primary roads that will see plows first include Powell and Sawmill roads, Olentangy and Liberty streets and Sawmill Parkway. Next, the department services other streets that would allow for easy access to subdivisions. Those streets include Murphy Parkway, Vinwood Lane, Beech Ridge Place, Olentangy Ridge Place, Bartholomew and Briarbend boulevards and Ridge Side, Ashmoore, Village Park, Chenango, Hopewell, Zion, Grandshire and Weatherburn drives.

Following a storm, the remaining streets and cul-de-sacs are plowed, Canavan said.

"Sometimes we will hear from residents that are upset about their street not getting plowed in a certain time frame, but after explaining the street priority system that is in place, they understand," she said.

If ice is predicted to come with a storm, Canavan said the department will salt the roads before it arrives, which is necessary about twice a year.

Jeff Snyder, the city's public service department director, advises drivers to slow down, allow for extra time and stay several car lengths behind plow operators.

"It is important to give the plow operators time and space to do their jobs," he said.

Canavan said residents also should remember during winter storms to avoid parking on the street and to pile shoveled snow to the right of their driveways.

Liberty Township takes a similar approach when clearing roads.

"We start with the highest-traveled roads first and work our way to the cul-de-sacs," said township Road Superintendent Randy Leib.

The township started out the snowy season with 600 tons of road salt, but it will purchase more, because it takes 1,000 tons on average each year to keep the roads safe, he said.