By Jill Gosche
Snowplow crews were busy trying to keep roadways clear after about 6 inches of snow fell and the wind kept blowing in Tiffin Thursday.
Mike Hoffman, superintendent of Tiffin's Public Works Department, said nine plows were out on roads Thursday.
The first crew started its work at Wednesday night's fire at Gold Bond apartments. Employees put down salt to prevent falls and erected barricades to close roads. The crew was scheduled to head home at 3 p.m. Thursday. By around 3 p.m., all city streets had been plowed at least once, and Hoffman said a lot of them had been plowed more than once.
A new round of drivers operated large trucks with plans to finish work at 7 p.m. Thursday. As of about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Hoffman was planning to have crews reporting back to work at 4 a.m. today.
One of the 12 employees who worked Thursday afternoon was Tim Parkins, who drove a snowplow around the city. Parkins, an Indianapolis Colts fan, has horseshoes on his truck for good luck.
He said he started work at 7 a.m., and drivers were concentrating on the main routes: Melmore, Sandusky, Sycamore and Washington streets. Drivers would return Friday to widen the paths, he said.
Another truck driver followed behind Parkins' truck to push back the snow. The team approach only is used in bad storms such as what hit the area Thursday, Parkins said.
Taillights covered with snow and vehicles driving without headlights complicate Parkins' job.
"That's how I see (vehicles)," he said about headlights.
Parkins' truck was loaded with salt to keep it from spinning around.
Hoffman said crews would wait to apply salt to the roads until the wind stopped blowing and the snow stopped drifting. There were just two small windows of time when it had stopped snowing Thursday, he said.
"No salting. We just plowed today," he said.
The city mixes salt with beet juice when it treats the roads. Once its current supply of several thousand gallons is exhausted, it will switch to a molasses substance.
"We still have beet juice (to use)," Hoffman said.