NELDON: Thanks to our street departments

Just a week after the groundhog saw its shadow, Mother Nature gave us a big reminder that winter would be sticking around for a while.

As what seemed like mountains of snow fell — and fell and fell, and fell some more — on Friday, many of us grumbled with disapproval, disgusted with the heavy snow we would have to either pay to move or move ourselves.

As you could see in the photo packages we published in our newspapers and on our website Monday, southwest Michigan’s little ones seemed to thoroughly enjoy the snow day, taking advantage of the large accumulation to sled, tube, dig tunnels and make snow angels. Meanwhile, street crews from our local municipalities and county road commissions worked tirelessly to make the roads somewhat drivable for those who could not afford to miss work or trips to the grocery store.

Although not all roads were perfect, I have to commend the street crews in our local municipalities for working tirelessly around the clock to make the main roads passable for those of us who had to travel on them.

These dedicated Department of Public Works and street crews worked countless hours throughout the weekend in dangerous road conditions in order to make the roads as safe as possible during the treacherous conditions.

Many expressed concerns that their side streets were difficult to travel throughout the winter storm, but taxpayers should keep in mind that for more than 24 hours, snow (and sleet and other mixtures of precipitation) fell nonstop, making it nearly impossible for even the most seasoned and experienced road crews to stay on top of plowing the entire region. As soon as one road was cleared, it was time to clear it again, in many cases.

Although we native Michiganders are (somewhat) accustomed to winter weather, the 13-plus inches of snow that fell in a single day Friday was more than we have seen since the blizzards in 2013 and 2014 in such a short amount of time. Frankly, I am thankful that the folks responsible for clearing the roads were dedicated enough to stick to it and continue clearing the roads nonstop through what seemed to be an endless winter storm.

With the heavy accumulation behind us and the sun rising sooner and sooner every day, I am optimistic that Mother Nature got winter out of her system.

Soon enough, tulip bulbs and lilacs will begin peeking through the green grass, birds will be singing, and grumpy thoughts of frigid cold and heavy snow will be behind us — for a few months, anyway.

Ambrosia Neldon is the general manager at Leader Publications. She can be reached by phone at (269) 687-7700 or by email at ambrosia.neldon@leaderpub.com

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