Many South Bend streets remain unplowed, task continues into Tuesday

By: Kevin Lewis Email
By: Kevin Lewis Email

Three days into South Bend’s record setting snowfall and many neighborhood streets are still not clear. City plows hit north and south streets and cleared downtown all day Sunday. On Monday, plow drivers took to every residential road running east and west.

However, many residents chose not to move their cars, making snow removal an even more tedious job. Some residents forewent the task, thinking plows would never travel down their road. At the same time, some cars were stuck so deep in the snow that their owners could nor\t get them free.

When you thought Monday’s could not get worse, 12-year-old Sterling Martin had to do chores, in his shorts.

"It feels like I’m in Alaska. Here I am walking so deep. I actually had to dig a whole trail to get to my alley,” Martin said as he trudged through the snow.

His chore list came after South Bend restored normal garbage and recycling pick-up Monday morning.

Along W. Jefferson Boulevard, in front of his home, tire track stood in for lane strips and snow banks took the place of curbs.

"It’s very frustrating,” Richard Peals said as he shoveled his car out. "When it comes down to it, there's nothing you can do against Mother Nature,” Peals added.

Exhaust poured out of cars working with all their might to break free from the snow. It turned out to be an unsuccessful feat for Trina Jones.

"I’d take Tampa, Morocco, anywhere where it's warm. Texas I don't care. Maybe even Mexico, anywhere but here,” Jones said sitting inside her car.

The trouble was all because no snow plow had cleared her stretch of W. Jefferson.

"The corners are rough, people still get stuck there,” Chris Morrissey said with a grin on his face. Morrissey had the luxury of a four wheel drive vehicle.

Suddenly, on the horizon, an orange truck with a large steel device appeared, causing an exodus of cars.

“Move over onto this side,” neighbor Phrazier Gilbert hollered as he directed cars from the plow’s path.

"The plow is coming, we've been waiting for our turn and now it’s here,” another man said as he sped off.

"It took them two days, but we're getting it cleared now. I can go back to work,” Gilbert added.

But not everyone got the warning in time.

"Some good advice, if you have a garage - use it,” Marline Richardson said as she dug her car out. If Saturday’s 26 inches was not enough, Monday’s plow job shoveled even more snow atop her car.

"I hope the city doesn't think my car’s abandoned and then tow it,” Richardson said laughingly.

Missing hub caps and a side view mirror, Richardson worked for hours so her beloved Chevy Corsica could once again see the light of day and avoid any tickets.

“She’s from 1991, a true American classic. I'm not giving up on her yet,” Richardson concluded as she continued to work away at the snow.

With 500 miles of streets, safely clearing roadways in South Bend is no easy task. Given the number of roadways with multiple lanes, plows have to actually clear 2200 miles of roads; in other words, the distance from the Notre Dame Stadium to Los Angeles.

Plows will continue to clear all east-west roadways throughout Monday night. Then on Tuesday, city crews will shift their focus to all streets remaining in poor condition.

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