Newswatch 16 Takes Plow Ride through Pottsville

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POTTSVILLE -- Snow started in downtown Pottsville around 8 p.m. Monday and the city's streets department got right to work.

"We have to be out here as it's snowing. We have too many hills and too many tight streets. It seems like tragedy always happens around these storms," said Pottsville's streets department superintendent Tom Whitaker.

Because of those hills and narrow streets, city officials say they try to make it as easy as possible for the people who live there to get back to their normal lives after the storm.

The city is under a Level 2 snow emergency which bans parking along streets and limits drivers on the roads.

"It's great when there's no traffic, but when there's pedestrians, you have to be careful you don't whip them with the salt when you go by," Whitaker said.

With 15 trucks and 15 drivers by the end of the day, Whitaker says they'll use about 200 tons of salt. He says it's not necessarily how much snow we are getting but the duration of the storm.

"We'll go until maybe 5 or 6 o'clock tonight. Then we're going to go home, sleep for a few hours, then go back out and work overnight cleaning up.

During our half-hour ride-along, conditions started to improve significantly.

"The snow has tapered down and there's already black top. This is a two-lane street that's really wide, but not anymore," he said.

That's why they'll be back out Tuesday night, even after the snow stops to clean up.

Whitaker made one last promise to us before our ride-along ended. He said if there is another blizzard this winter season, we get to drive the plow truck.

"You guys can come down on this road; you can speed up and down it."