City crews working on clearing streets

NEW ULM — Thursday the New Ulm Street Department had five plows working to clear the may roads until 10 p.m.

Street Superintendent Curt Curry said its standard procedure to plow until 10 p.m. He said the city does not have the resources to plow all through the night. The entire street system will be plowed again at 4 a.m.

The last few days have been a challenge for the Streets Department. Multiple snow incidents have kept them busy.

On Wednesday, roads were especially slippery due to a quarter-inch of ice covering roads. Curry said his department has gone through a lot of salt over the last few days, but with a quarter-inch of ice, salt is not enough to melt the ice.

Another problem is that as vehicles drive on the ice, it becomes polished, which is why the streets were more slippery than normal.

Sand has been added to the major hills in town, but the street crews are trying to limit the amount of sand they put down since they will likely plow it away in a few hours.

A snow emergency might need to be declared for Monday, but this decision has not been reached yet.

The New Ulm Police Department responded to 14 vehicle accidents on Monday, but this was the worst of it. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the number of accidents decreased. As road conditions grew worse, area drivers were more inclined to stay home or drive more carefully. Only a few accidents were reported since Monday, with only two reported between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon.

Redwood County Sheriff’s Office did issue a no travel advisory Thursday afternoon. Due to low visibility, the Redwood County highway department’s equipment was unable to operate safely.

The no travel advisory was in effect for all of Highway 14 west of Springfield. The road from New Ulm to Mankato remained open as of Thursday afternoon, but was completely covered by snow.