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Great Bend sounds off on snow removal
Snow plow on Lakin Monday morning
City crews and others were out doing their best to push snow aside to open roads and parking spaces. - photo by VERONICA COONS Great Bend Tribune

The city has endured a handful of snow storms so far this winter.
Sunday night, the second snow storm in a week hit Great Bend, dumping an additional inches of snow on top of what was left on the ground from a storm that closed schools Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
It wasn’t enough to convince USD 428 to close school again, so Monday morning, people young and old in Great Bend faced the challenge of how to get to work. Some donned boots and coats and walked, but for most, it meant navigating streets not yet cleared.  Travel times just to get from one end of the city to the other in some cases were doubled.  While the major roads like 10th Street and Main Street were navigable, side streets all over the city were blanketed with a thick grainy snow.  Sheer momentum was often the sole force allowing drivers to make it from one point to the next, with many finding themselves stuck when they were forced to stop at intersections.  Spinning tires pulled some drivers into deeper virgin snow on the sides of the roads where the snow had yet to be disturbed, and getting traction proved to be nearly impossible for some. Luckily, many travelers were helped by kind people who were willing to help push, pull or dig one another out and keep traffic flowing like mud.
Tuesday, drivers found roads somewhat more passable, but still mountains of snow filled medians of main roads, and side streets were still tricky in places.  All the while, city crews have been working non-stop to clear the snow.  The Great Bend Tribune gathered opinions from people about the snow removal effort. One thing is certain, the people in Great Bend are an understanding group. While no one was happy about being stuck in snow, and many felt it was hazardous to drive around town in the thick of it, most felt city employees tasked with clearing the roads were doing the best they could with what they had to work with.
As one Great Bend senior said, “We’re like little sissies anymore because we aren’t used to the snow because we haven’t had it like this for a long time,”  
And most also felt the county did a pretty good job keeping the roads cleared, and Great Bend did about as good as most cities it’s size nearby.  

“Getting to school was tricky. We got stuck at the stop signs because the snow was so deep there. They need to get the snow away from the places you have to stop.”
– Emily, at Great Bend High School

“It’s been really bad, especially on the side streets. Lots of streets (Monday) still had nine inches of snow on them. Our drivers have had some problems, but we’re still getting it delivered.”
– Pat, at Great Bend Post Office

“I got stuck twice on 22nd Street, coming in and going out. It was embarrassing, but thank goodness for the angels that got me out of the intersection. People stopped and helped push me out. It took about 15 minutes to get me out. I live in the country, and I don’t worry about getting stuck out in the country. I worry about getting stuck in town.”
– Liz, at Great Bend Coffee

“I didn’t feel too bad about being stuck, because I even saw big trucks getting stuck. It wasn’t just the little cars.”
– Lisa, at Great Bend Coffee

“Side streets are terrible. I think it’s just so snowy. We’ve been stuck several times. I had to buy the drivers cat litter and a shovel. But the main streets aren’t too bad. They can’t clean everything, but they do come clean our lot religiously, so I can’t complain there.”
– Rosie, at Great Bend Senior Center

“I live out north on 32nd Street, and Monday it took me 45 minutes to get from there to the cancer center. I got behind some vehicles that got stuck, and had to wait until they got pulled out before I could go on. The streets are terrible.”
– Shirley

“I live on Red Barn Road. Every time they clean out my road, they fill my driveway with snow. My grandson is kind enough to come make a path for us with his big truck. If it weren’t for my grandson, we wouldn’t make it out there. We’re the only people on that road, so it would be nice if they wouldn’t plow us in there.”
– Pauline, at Great Bend Senior Center

“It’s the first time I’ve been out since Friday, so I’m not sure how it is uptown. We live at the condos, so the roads into town are as good as we could expect. I know that they put in long hours and they do the best they can. You can hear them at night.”
– Shirley, at Great Bend Senior Center.

“Wherever there’s a spot, that’s where the snow is. It’s so high you can hardly see over it as you drive down the road.”
– Anonymous at the Great Bend Senior Center

“I went to Wichita Sunday, and we were OK Sunday, but Monday morning we got up and there were four inches down there. Their main streets are okay, but their side streets aren’t, just like here. It’s just hard to get it all cleaned up when it snows every other day. We didn’t have any trouble coming home though. The highways were cleared.”
– Evelyn, at the Great Bend Senior Center

“We live outside the city limits at All Seasons. The roads are good until you get in the city. As long as you stay on the main streets, it’s good travelling.”
– Richard, from Nebraska

“Not the best. The county is doing a much better job than the city. We live at All seasons, and we drive down McKinley. It’s good until you get to the city limits. Then, it’s not good. We just stayed home last week.”
– Raye, from Nebraska