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A last gasp for the winter of 2019-20

Scholtes: ‘Pretty much standard procedure’

April 19, 2020 by Brian Jopek

Following warm weather which had just about taken care of all but some of the most stubborn snow piles left in a good portion of the Lakeland area, the winter of 2019-20 made one last gasp starting Sunday. 

The day before was sunny with a high in the mid-50s and if a person hadn’t been paying attention to the weather forecast and knew there was a system on the way that would end up dumping anywhere from six inches to 10 or more inches in the Lakeland area, that person would have thought spring had arrived. 

However, things began with much cooler temperatures, a few flurries Sunday morning and by midnight Sunday, there was fairly substantial snowfall throughout the area. 

Adding to it were warnings about high wind gusts, slippery roads and possible power outages. 

According to Wisconsin Public Service, the heaviest concentration of power outages in the Lakeland area was in Lac du Flambeau, which Sunday afternoon was listed on the WPS website as having 537 power outages. 

By Monday morning, though, most roads, whether town roads or state or county highways, had been plowed. 

Town crews worked on side streets and public parking lots with front end loaders and 3/4 ton pickup trucks with plows while private plow truck drivers went to work on business parking lots and private drives. 

In other words, cleaning up as usual. 

In fact, Vilas County highway commissioner Nick Scholtes on Monday said “it was pretty much standard procedure.”

“We always expect one good snowfall right around Easter, if not right on Easter,” he said. “Every other year, it seems we get one right on Easter and it always seems to be a 10- to 12-incher and this one didn’t let us down. Just depends, of course, what areas you’re in.”

Scholtes said there hadn’t been any removal of snowplows or other seasonal equipment from the county’s fleet of dump trucks, also known as “patrol trucks.”

“The trucks were still ready to go,” he said. “We don’t strip the trucks down until we get into the third week in April.”

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected]

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