Des Moines spends $336K to clear streets after record snowfall

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The price tag for clearing Des Moines streets after this week's record snow--nearly $336,000.

"From the first flake hitting the ground to when the snow stops we're out around the clock on snow routes. With this last snow--that was a considerably longer time than most previous snows--that's where the cost adds up" says Des Moines Deputy Public Works Director Adam Smith.

He says Public Works snow plows were out for nearly 48 hours after the snow started falling Monday morning.

Smith says once it stops snowing, plow crews can clear the entire city in about 24 hours.

He says a winter with frequent smaller snowfalls is actually more expensive than infrequent big storms.

"If it's two inches, or 10, or 12--it doesn't matter to us how much snow falls. The cost is the same for that 24 hour period, pretty much" Smith says.

He says, right now, the city still has two-thirds of its annual snow removal budget for the rest of the season.

"We budget $3 million a year for snow removal. To this point we've spend just over a million dollars--so not quite a third" Smith says.

So far this season, nearly 42 inches of snow has fallen on Des Moines--115 percent of the 10-year average.

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