Otter Tail County has over 2,000 lane miles to plow

Contributed photo
Isidore Lindberg, Dennis Bosek, Brody Bakken, Randy Wulfekuhle, Gerald Holo, Trent Harthun and Mark Hauge were just several of the snowplow drivers who cleared snow on 25 different routes recently. Otter Tail County has 25 snowplow drivers and two substitutes that clear snow in the winter.

Plowing Otter Tail County roads is a matter of public safety. County snowplow drivers are a dedicated crew. The removal of snow and ice from county roads is the most important job for the Highway Department Maintenance personnel during the winter. Sometimes these heroes are called upon, not to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but to clear a private roadway for medical services or law enforcement to provide emergency help to residents.

“Thank you to all the plow drivers that have been out all hours and, in all conditions, working hard to maintain our county roads,” said Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons. “One example of their dedication, during our last big snow event, was their willingness to plow an opening to a residence in the county to allow an ambulance to get in to render care during a medical emergency. Our deputies and emergency responders would not be able to respond to the emergency calls without the hard work of the local, county and state plow drivers. Your work is appreciated.”

During a recent snow event Commissioner Dan Bucholz, District 1, rode with county snowplow driver Greg Januszewski.  He wanted to experience the work the dedicated highway maintenance crews perform. 

“Thank you snowplow drivers. The drivers have a tough job in some pretty harsh conditions, but they work hard to get the roads cleared. We really appreciate the work they do.”

During the course of their work there are several ways local residents can help snowplow drivers, including: 

1. Slow down and stay back.

  2. Do not plow snow from your property into the road or onto sidewalks.

  3. Do not store items in the right of way.

  4. Prepare your mailbox properly with a swing arm and maintain its care.

Did you know

• County drivers plow 2,100 lane miles per snow event.

• It takes about 8-12 hours to plow a significant snow event with 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. a typical shift with only enough personnel to operate one shift daily.

• Each area has a group leader who is responsible for watching the weather. If there is a 20 percent chance or greater of snow the leader reports to work to assess the needs in their area.

• Roadways are plowed by several different agencies including MN Department of Transportation, County Highway Departments and township and city crews.