There’s “snow” way around it: that stuff has got to go! Check out how Rapid City cleans up after Wednesday’s storm


A Snow Removal Alert Sign In Downtown Rapid CityRAPID CITY, S.D.– After Wednesday’s winter storm dumped several inches of snow in the Rapid City area, residents and city officials got started on cleanup around the area. Communications Coordinator Darrell Shoemaker explains how the City works to remove the snow and why it is important for residents.

Downtown Rapid City

On Thursday morning, the city announced a snow removal alert for the six-block by four-block area from Fifth Street to West Boulevard and Kansas City Street to Omaha Street. Friday, February 24, that area will be closed from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. so crews can clear snow from the area. ” It is a little dicey right now downtown–that stuff is built up. But we do not want that interface with the traffic as our snow removal crews can get in there,” Shoemaker explained. “We need to do it during the early morning hours.”

As Shoemaker says, the snow in that area will be removed from curb to curb. Businesses and city officials work with the City whenever a snow removal alert is issued to make sure the roads are clear and cars are removed from the roads for thorough cleaning. Snow from the downtown area is then picked up and hauled away to a storage area. “We pack away tons of snow,” he said.

This decision marks the fourth time in recent years the City has had to clear downtown for snow removal. For cars that are not removed, officials issue a ticket and tow the car, which must be picked up by the driver from an impound lot. “Last time we did a downtown snow removal alert was back in December. We had about 30 cars that were ticketed and towed,” Shoemaker said.

Residential areas

According to Shoemaker, a city ordinance in-place requires residents to remove snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes within a 24-hour period after a winter storm has occurred or will face a fine from the City.

“Sidewalks that are not kept free from snow and ice are declared a nuisance, and upon the failure, neglect or refusal to comply, the owner or occupant may be held in violation.  If the snow and ice is not removed within 24 hours, the City can have the area cleared of snow and ice with the costs assessed to the property,” the ordinance explains.

The ordinance also has a public safety component to it, as not cleaning up the snow properly or dumping it in the street can potentially cause injury to residents that are walking by the property. “With our warm cycle, that snow is going to melt and then leak out into the sidewalk, out into the street,” he explained. “We are going to have that freezing– it is going to freeze overnight and then we are back to that icy buildup again.”

One of the best things to do is to place the snow in your yard such as on a lawn, Shoemaker says, to prevent the melting snow to flow onto public property and re-freeze.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News