One thing that we are all getting real tired of, besides the political games being played daily in Washington, D.C., is this darned cold and snowy weather we have been experiencing this winter. This year is certainly not a very good example of chamber of commerce “Banana Belt” weather to which we have been more accustomed.
We are used to a little snow and cold up to this point, but there has always been a welcome break in the weather in January or February, which allows some of the accumulated snow to melt. There have been years when we could bounce the ball back and forth on the tennis courts in town in January, but not any year lately!
With no consistent above freezing days this winter, we are faced with mounting piles of snow everywhere. It’s getting to the point where we don’t know where to go with it anymore. This would be a good time to praise city, county and state snow removal crews for the great jobs they do in our area of the Southern Black Hills. If you don’t think this is the case, just visit another Black Hills community.
We were in Spearfish this past Sunday and noted that the main and side streets looked and drove like they had not been plowed for days. When we asked a local business owner about this, she said Sunday was the fifth day in a row that it had been snowing and that it was the weekend when their city crews were not working.
In Custer, the city’s public works department came up with a plan several years ago that has employees rotating duties during the weekend so some are always on the job. This means that snow is either being plowed or removed from city streets and downtown nodes no matter what day of the week it is, and with no overtime needed. City of Custer public works director Bob Morrison said piles of snow around town are getting higher and are becoming somewhat of a problem, especially at intersections.
People in Rapid City are always complaining in the Journal about streets not being plowed in the winter or maintained properly in the summer months. There are a lot of city street miles in Rapid City, and probably not that many city employees, so it probably takes a while to get to all of them in the snowy season. Streets in Custer are well maintained in the winter and summer months.
This miserable weather is one thing to contend with, but along with it comes all kinds of sicknesses that have been going around in the community, especially our schools. Lots of kids and teachers have been hit by some kind of virus or bug and have missed days of school. In confined spaces like our school rooms, it seems one youngster after another gets sick in a seemingly endless cycle.
This is another day closer to spring, and it can’t come soon enough this year. We can’t wait to get out of this survival mode and get outside once again.