Snow removal crews continue to unclog Cincinnati streets, overtime piles up

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Snow removal crews are working around the clock to unclog Cincinnati area streets.

The city has spent more than $1 million in wages and overtime, $2.4 million worth of salt and $143 thousand in gas. Those numbers don't even include Tuesday's storm.

At any given time the city of Cincinnati has about 45 salt and plow trucks on the road.

Most of the major thoroughfares are clear and about 75 percent of residential streets have been plowed. However, the city's assistant public works director, Larry Whitaker, says that last ice storm has made the job much harder.

"The ice is pretty solid at this point. It's not a quick removal," explains Whitaker. "The material itself is difficult to work with."

That's an understatement as far as Chris Reebie of Hyde Park is concerned. The Chicago native says he spent the better part of this morning digging out his car.

"I've never had such a hard time getting my car out of the snow. We get 18 inches in a week there, but here it's a lot harder to pick up," explains Reebie.

Mike Bavishi moved to Cincinnati from South Carolina two years ago and says he's never seen anything like this.

"The snow has definitely gotten the best of me and my vehicle and everything else I can think of," says Bavishi.

Ryan Pierani delivers pizzas for Hyde Park Pizzaria and says he's seen a lot of stuck vehicles.

"I just feel bad for the guys that are parked on the main drag to get plowed in," Pierani says. "I've seen people just give up on digging their cars out."

Meanwhile, Elm Street downtown was blocked off this afternoon while snow was scooped into dump trucks and then hauled off to Spinney Field in Lower Price Hill.

It's a long 12-hour day for crews working to clear the streets, but plow truck driver Tyree Jackson says he just takes it all in stride.

"After a couple years of doing it you have the mindset that in between this time frame - from November to April - you have to provide a service if it snows," explains Jackson.

Jackson and his fellow drivers are asking  folks who haven't yet had the streets plowed to be patient and when you dig out your car don't throw the snow back out in the street because it just creates a hazard for the snow removal crews and other motorists.

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