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Winter storm leaves a mess in Billings, Idaho

Snow and ice has made travel in Billings, Idaho difficult.
Snow and ice has made travel in Billings, Idaho difficult.

Recently, many parts of the United States experienced their first taste of winter. Last week's storm consisted of freezing rain, snow and strong wind gusts.

Air travel delays and cancelations occurred all over the country and in Dallas, residents saw their light-rail system closed for three days. However, one community in Idaho is having a hard time clearing the roads from this storm and another weather event happened this week.

Billings, Idaho only has a winter budget of $827,000 to last the season, but back-to-back snowfall has local officials concerned that battling against a long winter may impact maintenance during the warmer months, the Billings Gazette reported.

Because of these financial limitations, the city's Public Works Department only allows plows to clean up first and second priority roadways, which make up a little more than 25 percent of all the roads in Billings. However, when  there is a "thick layer of ice and packed snow on most city streets," traveling around the area can be problematic.

The trucks that are trying to clean up these neighborhoods are also facing issues because of bulky hydraulic systems. To ensure that most of the snow is cleaned up with their limited budget, Billings' continuity of operations plan uses a combination of de-icer as well as spreading out layer of a salt and sand mixture.

So far, the city has already used 800 tons of sand. Depending on how the rest of the winter season goes, Billings may need to look into other options that meets most of their goals without hurting their overall budget.

Business continuity consultants can help develop strategies that can streamline operations for business, public workers and residents when inclement weather is in the forecast.