Snowy situation: Buses stuck, snow removal strategy - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Snowy situation: Buses stuck, snow removal strategy

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Guess what I saw today. Black asphalt.

Yep, roads cleared of snow. 

Of course, that was on the main streets through Billings. Many of the side streets are still a pain as streets are still covered by snow and slush. 

KULR-8 did confirm with first student, the bus service school district two contracts with, and there were over 20 buses stuck on side streets yesterday morning.

First Student's location manager says today was no better with 16 buses stuck.

But take a look at these streets by a west end elementary school I'm sure many of you have seen similar scenes..

If a bus were to get stuck, First Student manager says their main concern is keeping kids safe. They keep them warm by keeping the buses running and dispatch another bus to come pick up the kids.

City of Billings Deputy of Public Works Director Vern Heisler says plow trucks do clean the pick up and drop off areas by schools.

"But we do plow some of those drifts that are in those residential areas. We do some sanding on some of the hills and also with the controlled intersections, so we are out there, we're working, we're doing everything that we can to get this done," he said.

First Student manager says parents, if you can, take your kids to school, it'd be a big help at this time.

 It started snowing December 6th, and since then, Heisler says plow trucks have been running 24/7.

Heisler says they're up to over 2,000 hours of overtime for snow plowers.

He says they've finally caught up on plowing. Now they're working on moving the snow to their two drop off pits, knife river, and their property by the airport.

Heisler says they're still only plowing arterials and collectors.

"You know I really do understand that the residential streets have a lot of snow on them and going is slow and you know we understand that our policy and it's been our policy for quite awhile is to plow the arterials and collectors so that's really what we're doing," he said. 

Heisler says try not to drive through the berm's center.

It forces the snow to spread, then they have to go back and re-shovel the snow.  It also damages your vehicle.

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