Snow Removal

Here’s the thing about living in Fairbanks, Alaska… They don’t plow much. When the snow comes in October, the plows don’t immediately rush out out to clear the roads. If your lucky, they’ll clear the main roads and highways. But the residential roads? Well, for the most part, everyone just drives on it, packs it down and moves on. All winter long. Snow, drive, pack down, go. Snow, drive, pack down, go. We forget where the lines in the road are – we haven’t seen them in months. Turning lanes magically appear, and some roads will spontaneously go from 2 lanes to three or four. It’s your best guess, and you just have to kind of eyeball it. We get used to it. You drive careful, and you drive slow, but you drive on.

Then Spring comes. For the past 6 months, the snow has been building up and building up and building up, but soon it is going to start melting. Then what? Well, they have to get rid of some of it!

Today while I was at work, the crews started working on our street. My neighbor kindly shared these photos and agreed to let me share them with you.

First the big scrapers come.


What a mess! Hope the neighbor didn’t need to go anywhere anytime soon!


Then the monster grinders come.


How’s this for a snow blower?



They will fill truck after truck and eventually haul all this snow off to a snow collection point where it can melt safely. Even with all of this work, our roads will still turn into giant mush pits, as often the snow will melt but the gutters and sewers will still be frozen, and the mushy mess won’t have anywhere to go.


Hey! I forgot we had sidewalks!

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  1. Denise says

    I always loved watching the snow removal crews in spring when I lived in Fairbanks. It was just so astonishing to see how much snow they could remove and how quickly it happened!

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