Local public works crews prepare for potential New Year’s winter storm

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 3:21 PM CST
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PEKIN & PEORIA (25 News) - We are very quickly closing the book of 2021 but as the region prepares for another year around the sun, crews are also preparing for a winter storm that is expected to happen right as we ring in the new year.

Local meteorologists have been tracking a New Year’s Day storm for about a week at this point and forecasts are starting to dial in and snow is expected at this point, the amounts of which are still being determined.

Street crews in Pekin and Public Works Crews in Peoria are gearing up for whatever the weekend brings to the region. Despite the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, Pekin Street Crews are ready.

“We have 13 plow drivers and they’re all ready to go - no issues. The only issues we have, we ordered a couple new trucks that aren’t here yet that are supposed to be here next week so kind of wish we had those, but we’ll make by for the storm.” Said BRett Olson, Operations Supervisor for the City of Pekin. He also let us know that his crews have been largely unaffected by COVID-19 as of now.

“We’ve actually been pretty fortunate. We just tell guys if you even feel a little bit sick stay home. The truck company had a hard time getting the supplies just to make the truck or to finish our truck. So, we’re seeing it on all ends. You know, it’s, it is what it is. There’s nothing they can do about it.” Said Olson.

The Peoria Department of Public Works has not been so lucky regarding COVID-19 as Sie Maroon tells us.

“We’re going to make it work. It’s just that we have to do a little bit of a, make a little bit of adjustment that we’re not used to doing, simply because we typically have enough drivers. You know, without a question that’s ever really never been an issue before. Obviously, with COVID It’s making a huge difference on us…” Said, Maroon.

Maroon also told us that despite those adjustments they have made due to COVID-19, the trucks are ready to go when the call is made for them. He said once the snow is on the ground plow trucks will be out clearing the way for motorists.

Both Olson and Maroon also want to remind the public to keep an eye on snow emergency routes as they are issued. Also, they urge the importance of giving snowplows on the road plenty of space to maximize safety for everyone on the road.

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