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Small, but Mighty Team of Four Plows Clearlake Township

Updated: Monday, February 17 2014, 01:20 PM CST

It's long hours and dangerous conditions for a small, but mighty team of four who are clearing the roads of Clearlake Township.

Mile after mile, the men face many challenges, but they're in it for the long haul working to keep drivers safe.

When it's snowy and slippery, Alex Lyons, the Highway Commissioner for Clearlake Township takes the wheel to make sure all 60 square miles of roadway are clear and safe.

"We've got everything pushed back and we're going back to clean up cul-de-sacs right now," Lyons said.

Lyons is one of four men plowing roads-a small group with a lot of ground to cover.

"A lot of it's out in the open where the wind is really a factor. We'll get drifting...four and five feet...sometimes even deeper," Lyons said.

That's when plow trucks are more likely to get stuck.

With spitting snow and ice, the drivers have to constantly stop and clear their windshields.

"It's almost like a strobe light. It's hitting and almost kind of hypnotizing you," Lyons said.

Between running the truck and plow, dumping salt, and looking out for other cars, there's a lot to think about.

"We have to angle our plow left and right, up and down, run our spreader at intersections, try to get some salt and cinders down for the stop signs and that type thing you're pushing your plow to the right and trying to turn on your spreader trying to look out for traffic and be safe," said Clearlake Township Highway Maintainer, Tom Dyer.

That means the trucks burn through gallon after gallon of fuel.

"On just a normal snow, our trucks, ya know, they don't get very good mileage when they're plowing snow. They may get three to four miles a gallon so we burn a lot of fuel at this time," Lyons said.

It's a job the drivers say is much more difficult than most people realize.

"I think everyone should ride in a plow truck one day for at least two or three hours and see what it actually is like, that it's not the easiest thing in the world," Dyer said.

"Just another day in the office," said Lyons.

Lyons says he's hoping we don't have much more severe winter weather.

The township's salt supply is beginning to run low.

They've gone through about three quarters of the pile, and it's hard telling how much more of winter we could see.

Small, but Mighty Team of Four Plows Clearlake Township


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