City hires outside contractors to help clear roads - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

City hires outside contractors to help clear roads

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AMARILLO - Evidence of the record breaking blizzard can be seen in heaps on Amarillo streets.

The city had to hire outside contract workers to help plow 250 miles of Amarillo's busiest roads, creating mountains in medians and turn-lanes, which prompted dozens of complaints to the city.

"We tell them we understand their situation, but we just don't have the resources to address every single complaint," Director of Public Works Michael Rice said.

Rice says there's nowhere else for the snow to go without blocking businesses and parking lots or causing problems when the snow starts to melt.

"The gutters along the edges must be clear in order for the water to continue to drain, if it doesn't the snow that's in those gutters will actually become a damn and then we end up with water that refreezes and ends up with black ice," Rice said.

Snow is already starting to melt and residential streets are still a problem. Some residents in one southwest Amarillo neighborhood are still unable to leave their driveways, including Jerry Price.

"I shoveled enough to where I could get out," Price said.

Price he says doesn't understand why many of his neighbors bash the city just because there's still snow on the ground.

"I think they do the best they can do with what they've got," Price said. "They can't spend all the money on the equipment when we only get this every few years."

An opinion the city and the overworked street crews appreciate. There are over 1000 miles of residential streets in the city. Those streets are last on the list of priorities, behind the 250 miles of busy roads, areas by schools, and downtown.

"By the time we finish all that, the snow in the neighborhoods would be melted," Rice said. "We just don't have the equipment or the manpower."