(01/09/14) - Flint officials say efforts to clear all city streets this weekend may be more difficult than first thought. They're making progress in plowing the streets, but they're backing away from statements that the work will be completed by Saturday.
The snow is proving to be a big challenge.
Front end loaders are being used to clear some residential streets off of Lapeer Road. And three pickups from the Water Department are joining in the effort.
The city has 520 miles of roads.
Wednesday, a statement issued by the city said 30 percent of the streets had been cleared. But when asked for an update today, the DPW director Howard Croft was hesitant to answer.
"I wouldn't want to put a number on it right now because it's ever moving. That number needs to be in context. It's a context of 520 miles. I would rather say we're hopeful that we'll be in position for school to be open and the buses to occur tomorrow," Croft said.
Usually main streets are passable after one or two passes by a snowplow. But after this storm it has taken three or four trips to get the streets in good condition.
There was a bit of good news today. MDOT has agreed to provide three trucks to keep M-21 and M-54 clear in the city.
"They will be plowing and salting those roads which will allow us to focus more in the residential areas," Croft said.
Flint has 12 plow trucks in its fleet. Being in constant use the past few days is taking a toll on them.
"It has challenged us to maintain the upkeep on those. But again, with a tremendous sacrifice from the city staff, we're going the best we can. Our guys have been working 12 hour shifts since Sunday and we'll see how far that gets us," Croft said.