Fort Collins Experiences Shortage in Plow Drivers Due to COVID-19
With several inches of snow accumulating on the ground this week, Fort Collins has seen its highest amount of snowfall so far for the year, but unfortunately for residents, it may take longer than normal for city streets to be cleared.
According to a press release from the City of Fort Collins, there's currently a shortage of snowplow operators due to COVID-19, as a significant amount of employees are reportedly out sick right now. Some plow shifts may be fully staffed, while others may have fewer drivers available to take on routes. Fort Collins City staff expects snowplow operations to range between 80 and 100 percent of full capacity. This may result in reduced snowplowing operations or longer periods of time between snowplow passes on roadways within city limits. Additionally, residents may also experience delays in the clearing of City-maintained sidewalks and parking lots.
Despite the conditions, the City remains committed to ensuring residents can travel safely during the wintertime. City staff asks residents to be patient and understanding given the circumstances that they are currently dealing with.
Street Department crews will need to prioritize community requests, with the highest priority given to requests related to public safety.
City crews will continue to follow Fort Collins’ snow prioritization plan, which means that major arterials and routes that connect emergency services are cleared first, followed by collector streets and school routes. Plows can be tracked online at www.fcgov.com/snowplows.
Fort Collins drivers should maintain a safe distance from plows. Never pass plows on a two-lane road and on a multi-lane road, plows should be passed on the left.
If traveling in the snow, it's important for residents to make sure their vehicles are winter-ready, including checking that there are proper levels of fuel and fluids, working headlights and wipers, and appropriate tires for the elements.