WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- Mother Nature has not been kind this winter. We have close to 40 inches of snow on the ground with plenty more to come in just a few days. The blowing and drifting snow has made driving treacherous in the rural parts of the Stateline.
Snow, plow, repeat. That's all many of us have done this winter including snow plow drivers in Winnebago county.
"We try keeping them between 12 and 16 hours. They’re getting pretty tired, they've been working every day since thanksgiving," Troy Vail, with the Winnebago County Highway Department, said.
In addition to the long days their jobs have been made that much harder by blowing and drifting snow in the rural sections of our area, requiring some heavy duty equipment to clear it all away. Neighbors in Winnebago County say they are grateful for the giant snow blower. It's helped many make it to work this winter.
"The drifts are probably as tall as my truck so it’s pretty scary out there. I mean, I have to plow my drive at least twice a day when it’s snowing and I can only imagine what they have to do,” Winnebago County resident Drew Helge, said. “They're probably just going back and forth, I'm glad they had the snow blower out."
One section of Tate Road has drifted so much neighbors say it’s hard for two cars to pass at once.
"On the north south road, which this one is, it’s been 5 feet deep and for a 1/4 mile section of the road so it’s pretty much impossible to get thru. I've had to pull a lot of cars out of the ditch," Helge, said.
The county highway department has 6 news trucks, three went out Saturday. The rest will likely be deployed later this week. One local farmer says if the plows can't get through to his house, he's got another option.
"If we can’t get out, we just take the snowmobiles," he said.
Twenty-five county plow drivers were on cleanup duty on Saturday. Five mechanics are on standby in case of any breakdowns. Their biggest concern now is their salt supply. They use a mix of salt and gravel to keep the roads free of ice. Crews say that supply is getting low because there's been such a high demand for it this winter not just here but all over Illinois and the Midwest.