Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - As the snow continues to fall throughout Missoula, City snowplow crews are finding it more difficult to find places to put all the snow, according to Brian Hensel, Deputy Public Works Director for streets.

Where do we Put all This Snow?

“One of my big concerns now is that each one of these snow events hasn't been really all that big, but it hasn't gotten warm enough to melt off all the edge berms, and I'm concerned with this amount of snow this early in the season that we could be faced with running out of room for additional snow events and where we're going to put the snow,” said Hensel.

Hensel said one of the biggest problems he and his crew are discovering is that home and business owners are moving their snow into the street.

Homeowners; Please don't shovel your Driveway Snow into the Street

“One of the big problems that I'm seeing citywide is that there are a lot of folks out there taking snow from parking lots and driveways and throwing it out in the street,” he said. “I'm really worried that we're going to need all that room to plow the streets and push the berms to the side. So if I can ask the public and contractors to please refrain from putting snow out in the street; not only is it an issue for snow storage for the crews, but it also could potentially create a hazard for the traveling public.”

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Caring for slick roads requires either sand or liquid deicer, and there are certain restrictions for each one.

“In the flat areas of town, the first product that we should use is the liquid deicer, which is magnesium chloride,” he said. “Then when we get into the local streets for plowing those, we use a granular deicer, because those local streets will typically have more packed snow accumulation, and that granular is more effective than the liquid. Now, if we get severe cold and a heavy snow event, we can also use sand in the flat parts of town. But we have to come back and try and clean all that up. So it has to be a fairly severe event for us to switch to the sand. But then on the north and south side of town west of Reserve, we can use a sandy aggregate, and that's what we use primarily as a cost-saving measure and also providing that immediate friction course.”

A Plea to stop Shoveling Snow into the Bike Lanes

Hensel asked the public to stop shoveling snow into the city’s bike lanes.

“We have to be conscientious about trying to refrain from pushing snow into bike lanes and in the street department we make our best effort to go and try to keep those bike lanes clear and I'm really worried that with how much snow we have this early in the season that I think all of us may be struggling to find room to put this snow,” he said.

He asked contractors plowing out parking lots to use a few of the lot spaces to store the snow, instead of plowing it into the street.

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