Nevada County maintenance crews brace for heavy snow

NEVADA CITY, Calif. February 28, 2018 – As the threat of heavy snowstorms over the next few days approaches, the County’s Department of Public Works personnel prepares to maintain safety on public roadways.

County Public Works crews will be on call 24-hours a day until the storm passes. When snow storms hit, main arterial and collector roadways, primary emergency response routes, and school bus routes are prioritized and plowed first. When heavy snow storms require repeated work to clear snow on priority roadways, smaller residential streets may not be cleared in this timeframe. To improve response times in these events, snow removal equipment is stored along higher elevation routes, including Washington Road, Scotts Flat, North Bloomfield, Columbia Hill (North San Juan), and Cascade Shores. The remaining equipment is located at the County’s Corporation Yard, located on Loma Rica Drive.

When heavy snowstorms impact roads below 2,500, the County deploys additional pick-up truck plows and personnel to plow these roadways. During these events, it is nearly impossible to keep up with snow removal demand, as every available employee is tasked with snow removal. In addition, priority is given to emergency conditions like fallen trees and down power lines affecting public safety. As a result, it may take time to fully plow and clear all county maintained roads affected by snow this weekend.

Once a winter storm is over and the roads are safely clear, county crews will begin sanding major roads. Similar to snow plowing, arterial and collector roadways, primary emergency response routes, and school bus routes are prioritized and sanded first. Crews will not begin sanding until there is a break in the weather and conditions are safe to do so.

During heavy snowstorms, we receive many phone calls and emails from residents about plowing driveways and snow berms left from county plowing activities on private roads and driveway. County crews are prohibited from plowing private roads and driveways. While we try to minimize impacts when reasonable, it is the resident’s responsibility to remove excess snow left by snow plows. Road crews also attempt to plow snow at least 2 feet or more from the edge of the travel lane to allow for drainage when the snow eventually melts. Even if a road is clear, please be aware that crews may plow additional snow on the roadway that could further affect your driveway or private road.

If heavy snow occurs later this week, we strongly encourage all residents to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive somewhere, please drive slowly and safely and utilize AWD or 4WD and/or chains as necessary. If you see a plow in action, please DO NOT attempt to pass the plow unless it is safe to do so.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns during these events, please contact the County’s Maintenance Yard at (530) 477-6849.