Plow Crews Clear Nearly All Residential Streets - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Plow Crews Clear Nearly All Residential Streets

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City crews set an ambitious goal on Thursday to plow every residential street in Missoula before the next blizzard hit Missoula.

They say they got about 85% of the 131 miles of residential streets plowed, but when the snow started falling mid-afternoon, plowers and sanders had to return to the main routes through town.

"We wanted to make sure to get everybody out of their residential streets and get them plowed, so that if we do get more snow it isn't going to make a bad situation worse," said Streets Division Superintendent Brian Hensel.

Hensel he set the goal after his office received multiple calls from stranded residents who couldn't leave their homes after this past weekend's blizzard.

"I know a lot of the residential streets, they were only passable with 4-wheel drive," Hensel said.

Postman Anthony Munson said he and the other mail carriers have to put chains on their trucks during poor conditions.

"It's been a challenge you know, it definitely-- all the snowpack-- adds a little extra time to the routes," he said.

And some residents have extra difficulty on the streets, braving the conditions on just a bike.

"Pretty slick, pretty rough, especially when you hit a soft spot, you have a tendency to crash," said Missoula resident John Edwin Lee Jr.

Hensel said his 15 drivers have been working 14-hour shifts this week to try to stay ahead of the weather.

"They're really good about, let's get our work done and let's make the citizens proud of us."

Hensel said on Thursday afternoon, crews shifted their focus from residential areas back to their top priorities, including all the main routes through town, bus routes, hills and curves.

Hensel said people without a 4-wheel drive vehicle should consider buying chains for their tires to prepare for more snow, and slick conditions.

Mountain Line is also offering free bus fares for all routes tomorrow because of the extreme weather.

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