PEORIA,IL--Yes, this is Illinois and a big snowfall is pretty much inevitable. Yesterday's snow fall is a reminder of how often those winter storms can hit on the weekends. For many public works crews that could mean a longer shift than usual.
When it comes to plowing snow off roads and highways transportation budgets can take a hit, especially if mother nature sets snow records like the winter of 2013-14...when there were seven snowstorms on consecutive weekends.
"It's so unpredictable here right now. We're looking at colder than usual and average and we're looking at a little bit more than above average in snowfall," said Peoria Public Works Supervisor Sie Maroon.
An average winter in Central Illinois brings about 24 inches of snow. But three years ago residents saw nearly 60 inches of snow for the season. Last year there was hardly any. That kind of unpredictability can make planning like guesswork. But according to one IDOT spokeman crews are always up for the challenge.
"This time of year they look forward to, they love getting out there on the roads and clearing them off . We plan for the worst weather every winter," said Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesman Brian Williamsen.
"One of the challenges was that we were getting ready to start our shift and we had to make a decision to do a regular call or go to a 12 hour shift," Maroon said.
Peoria Public works employees were on duty for 12 hour shifts on Sunday. Williamsen says IDOT had two shifts of employees working during the snowfall. Whatever direction the snowfall takes light or heavy crews are ready to shift gears