SCRANTON -- While the Blizzard of '17 hit residents in Lackawanna County hard, Mayor Bill Courtwright estimates that it'll hit the city's budget even harder -- to the tune of nearly $500,000 dollars.
The Electric City mobilized over twenty plow trucks to help clear the neighborhood, as well as hiring private contractors to assist the city with the massive task.
The city even put a ban on parking in the downtown region overnight Wednesday, with hopes to remove and haul the massive snow piles. Unfortunately, crews were unable to finish the job, and will be back in the downtown Thursday night into Friday. Parking in the downtown is banned from 10 p.m. Thursday into 8 a.m. Friday to allow for the clean-up.
"I think we're going to be way up over $500,000 dollars when it's all said and done," said Courtwright. "I can't worry about the money right now, I've got to get people out."
Another major issue plaguing the city's snow removal operations is actually the city itself -- due to many of Scranton's hills and tricky geography, many of the plows have been getting stuck. Scranton is now forced to hire heavy equipment, such as front-end loaders and tri-axels, to clear snow Friday morning in the city's south and west sides. They also plan to tackle the Green Ridge, Minooka, North Scranton sections, as well as other areas.
"What I think the people are looking for, are the people in the neighborhoods," Courtwright added. "As I said to you earlier, our smaller trucks that normally go down the small streets and alleys cannot push the snow, it’s too heavy, they’re getting stuck. And our bigger trucks can’t fit down the small streets or alleys."