Road crews just trying to make it through a Northland winter

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 9:46 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. -- “Definitely a lot of snow, I’ve never seen this much,” said Mitchell Drobnick, the general manager of Rennan Drobnick Landscape & Snow.

To say the least, it’s been a good season for him and his company.

“I was pretty blown away,” said Drobnick. “This is no joke up here.”

The white gold, as it’s known to private plowing companies, keeps on coming,

But at times, it’s almost too fast.

“It has been awesome, really busy, but I’m honestly struggling just to keep up with it,” said Drobnick. “We are just trying to make sure everyone can get out of their house and keep them happy.”

As for city crews, this storm has caused problems on a couple of fronts. First and foremost, the sheer amount of snow.

The snow is piled high on the side streets of Duluth, showing just how much snow city plow drivers had to face.

“Anytime we get snow in excess of around six to eight inches, we reach our operational capacity on our priority ones,” said Geoff Vukelich, the street maintenance operations coordinator for Duluth.

The other big issue: When the snow fell.

Sunday is a changeover day, a time when people move their cars to the other side of the road.

The city worried that if a snow emergency was declared it would cause confusion, and therefore, bigger problems, so they didn’t call one.

“People need to remember that when we do call this, your car may be towed,” said Vukelich. “That comes at a cost to you, and we don’t want to put that burden on people if we are not doing our due diligence by making sure we call it at the appropriate time.”

Residents and road crews, both city and private, just trying to make it through a winter we won’t soon forget.

“It has kind of been brutal,” said Drobnick.

With more snow on the way this week, stay ahead of it by finding alternative parking areas and get updates on the plowing routes.