‘All hands will be on deck:’ Public works crews rest up ahead of winter storm

UNION GROVE -- Public works employees here went home early Thursday, Feb. 8 but there's no snow day for these guys; they would have to clock back a few hours later. Public works personnel across southeast Wisconsin were tasked with driving plow trucks throughout the night.

A winter storm was closing in Thursday night with the highest snow totals expected along the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

"They're telling us we're in one of the hot spots from here south to the border," said Mark Osmundsen, Union Grove's Public Works Director.

Osmundsen said he got a better view of what's coming after a conference call Thursday morning.

Mark Osmundsen

"This is a new thing this year that the Weather Service is doing for us, kind of watching these storms coming and giving us more information," said Osmundsen.

NWS officials in Sullivan said what's new is the calls now include public works officials, as well as school and hospital administrators.

Randy Kerkman

Nine miles down Highway 45 in Bristol, village officials had an eye on the forecast and a plan.

"All hands will be on deck for plowing operations," said Village of Bristol Administrator Randy Kerkman. "We'll bring them in around midnight or 1 a.m. (Friday). We'll bring them in for a few hours and then they'll come back about 3, 4 in the morning."

Knowing it would be a long night, Union Grove closed up shop early Thursday afternoon.

"Let them go home, get some sleep and bring them in around 11 (Thursday) night and then it's gonna be all night long," said Osmundsen.

 

Osmundsen said workers from the town's wastewater division would also be coming in to drive trucks. Even Osmundsen himself said he'd be plowing roads throughout the night.