WSU works to clear snow for students

Crews plan to remove snow 24/7 during winter storm, says they can't move snow piles until Wednesday or Thursday



WSU large equipment crews use equipment similar to the picture above to remove several inches of snow from roadways in Pullman on Monday night.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen deputy news editor

WSU Facilities Services is prepared to clear the expected five to seven inches of snow from roads, parking lots and sidewalks Monday night, said Craig Cole, director of construction services for WSU Facilities Services.

Large equipment crews use plows, dump trucks and excavators to remove snow from streets and parking lot areas, Cole said. Crews also apply chemicals, gravel and sand to add traction to the road.

To prepare for the storm that hit over the weekend, WSU Facilities Services applied magnesium chloride to roadways, which helps the snow become slushy, he said.

Cole said there are also ground crews that remove snow from sidewalks, overpasses and staircases on campus. They use equipment like hand-held shovels, forerunners and small tractors.

“Most of the parking lots and sidewalks are as good as they are going to get,” Cole said. “But we are supposed to get another five to six inches tonight. If that occurs, we will assess and make the call in the morning.”

WSU Facilities Services crews dispose of the snow piles left in parking lots from plows by stockpiling snow at Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Cole said.

“[WSU Facilities Services] is trying to pile snow in parking lots to be able to get the university operational,” Cole said. “It won’t be until Wednesday or Thursday until we remove the piles.”

Both ground crews and large equipment crews are scheduled in two 12 hour shifts to make sure roads stay clear all day, he said.

Crews began efforts Saturday and had the majority of snow cleared by 7 p.m. Sunday, Cole said. When Pullman received about five to six inches of snow overnight, that is when administrators decided WSU’s delay would need to be a full closure.

Pullman Transit buses also experienced delays today and started routes at 8 a.m. due to harsh road conditions, John Shaheen, WSU Transportation Services Director, said.

“People need to be patient, drive slow and plan their day early,” Shaheen said. “Whatever mode of transportation people use, they need to plan ahead so they can get where they need to go.”