Dispatchers were busy through the snowstormPolice Chief Marty Jensen reported that 40 vehicles were ticketed for being parked on city streets after snow emergency began early Monday morning. Most were written in areas of multiple-family housing.
The recent heavy snowfall that began overnight Saturday and couldn’t quite come to an end Monday morning did its part to increase traffic at the St. Croix County Emergency Communications Center.
A report of activity from 2 p.m. Saturday until Monday included some 483 total calls, said director Casey Swetlik.
The leading category included some 79 calls for vehicles in the ditch. Also 20 calls related to disabled vehicles and 15 accidents were reported.
Reports from various broadcast stations said between 12 and 15 inches of snow fell on the Hudson area during the storm.
Residents in the town of Hudson and surrounding area reported a foot to 18 inches of snow in their back yards from the storm that started early Sunday morning and ran into the wee hours Monday.
"Slow. I think it was one of the most difficult snowstorms we’ve had in a long time,” Tom Zeuli, Hudson’s public works director, said when asked how the street clearing effort went in the city.
Zeuli said the wet snow that fell made streets extremely slippery, and resulted in multiple snowplows getting stuck.
Four city plow drivers started at 6:30 a.m. Sunday and concentrated on keeping the main thoroughfares open. At 2 p.m. Sunday, they were relieved by a crew of five drivers who worked into the early evening.
The city declared a snow emergency event that began at 2 a.m. Monday and prohibited parking on any city street until the street was plowed from curb to curb.
The full city crew of about a dozen plow operators also reported to work at 2 a.m. Monday, and stayed on the job until all of the city’s streets were cleared.
“Most of the guys put in 16 hours,” Zeuli said. “Hats off to the crew. They did a great job.”
Some neighborhood streets remained unplowed until Monday because of the duration of the snowfall on Sunday, which kept plows busy keeping main routes cleared.
A plow on one city truck was damaged Sunday when it hit a manhole cover and the vehicle had to be taken out of action. On Monday, a second plow truck broke down. The mechanical problems also hampered the cleanup, Zeuli said.
Zeuli said an ice build-up remains on many streets, and that the city’s graders might be needed to remove it. He said the crew is now working at clearing sidewalks and parking lots.
He said the removal of snowbanks between the sidewalks and streets downtown will happen later in the weeks.
Police Chief Marty Jensen reported that 40 vehicles were ticketed for being parked on city streets after snow emergency began early Monday morning.
Most were written in areas of multiple-family housing, including Colonial and Fairway drives, Ward Avenue, and Redwood and Aspen Drives, Jensen said. Some tickets were also written for vehicles parked in the 900 block of Second Street.
Jensen said the police department responded to just three traffic accidents during the storm.
But travel remained hazardous for commuters on Monday and Tuesday.
“Right now it is really slippery out -- especially on the intersections and major thoroughfares,” Jensen said in a phone call Tuesday morning.
A crash on Interstate 94 near the St. Croix River bridge earlier in the morning had backed up westbound traffic all the way to milepost 4. It also slowed southbound traffic coming through North Hudson and Hudson on State Hwy. 35.
An accident at Second (Hwy. 35) and River streets in the city at about 8 a.m. also caused delays.
Numerous crashes on a slippery stretch of the interstate within the city of Hudson just before 6 a.m. slowed commuters early Tuesday morning.
One person was transported from the scene of the most serious crash on westbound I-94 between Carmichael and Exit 1, described as "in front of the Freedom station". Meanwhile, another vehicle rolled over near Exit 2 on the eastbound lane.
An officer on the scene described witnessing another vehicle veer off the roadway and strike a guardrail before continuing westbound.
Hudson EMS and fire personnel responded, along with St. Croix County deputies and several State Patrol units.
Many state and county roads across St. Croix County remained ice-packed and slippery.
At 5:11 p.m. Sunday, the Hudson Fire Department was dispatched to 1603 Aldrich Ave. in response to a report of a pine tree on fire.
A dispatcher with the St. Croix County Emergency Communications Center said the fire was believed to have been started by a power line that came in contact with the tree. Heavy snow possibly weighed down a limb, bringing it in contact with the power line.
North Hudson Public Works Supervisor Mark Ekblad said the three-person village crew and contractor Bjornstad & Sons Excavating began plowing at 10 a.m. Sunday and had all the village’s streets cleared by 5 p.m. that day.
Because the snow kept coming, all of the streets were plowed twice, Ekblad reported. He said the Public Works crew and contractor returned to work at 4 a.m. Monday and finished up by 10 a.m.
“All of the streets are passable, but we still have to take care of some parks and things like that,” Ekblad said.