Kentwood, Wyoming take recent winter storm in stride

The intersection of 52nd Street and Burlingame Avenue in Wyoming.
The intersection of 52nd Street and Burlingame Avenue in Wyoming.

Thanks to early warnings from the National Weather Services, warm ground temperatures, advance preparation by local Public Works Departments and the coordination from various municipalities, most travelers had an easy commute this morning.


A storm, forecasted by the National Weather Service, hit West Michigan around noon yesterday, leaving about seven to eight inches of heavy wet snow in both Wyoming and Kentwood, with some areas south of 44th Street receiving a little more.


“The National Weather Service really got this one right,” said Kentwood Public Works Director John Gorney. “Because of the early alerts, we were able to reorganize our work schedule so we were ready to go when the snow came.”


The same held true for the Wyoming Public Works Department, said Wyoming’s Assistant Director of Public Works Aaron Vis.


“Because we knew it was going to be a heavy wet snow, we were able to approach it a little differently,” Vis said. Starting about 2:30 p.m., Vis said the Wyoming Public Works department began to work on all of its major roads, salting and clearing them. Once those roads appeared to be staying clear, the plows were redirected to the city’s secondary and local streets.


“This way, as we went back out this morning, the plows would be only moving about three to four inches of snow instead of seven to eight,” Vis said. “The goal was to make sure residents wouldn’t get hung up on the instructions and were able to get out of their homes and to work.”


Gorney said Kentwood Public Works Department tackled its snow removal similarly by first working on the city’s major roads and the collector roads, which are major roads through the neighborhoods.


“The various communities do work together to make sure we are all providing similar services,” Gorney said. “The goal being that if a person is heading down 44th Street, which means they will be going through Grandville, Wyoming and Kentwood, that the plowing is such it appears seamless as the person drives down the street.”


Gorney said plows were working through the night with the department’s goal of having all the streets cleared along with the city’s 300 cul-de-sacs, the 20 locations with city sidewalk, all city-owned parking lots, and two miles of bike trails cleared within 24 hours after the storm. This one officially was done by 8 a.m. today, so it should all be cleared by 8 a.m. tomorrow, Gorney said.


Vis said Wyoming should be pretty much cleared by 2 p.m. today depending on whether a second lake effect storm comes through as predicted. That storm warning advisory is up through 4 p.m. today.


A few things to keep in mind as the plows continue to work on the streets are to slow down, keep a good distance away from the plows, and Vis said for Wyoming residents, keep in mind the odd/even parking rule as it helps the plows clear streets faster.


With temperatures expected to jump to the upper 40s by Saturday, the snow will be melting fast. Ground temperatures are also warm which has not allowed the precipitation to freeze.


Both Vis and Gorney said residents should not experience any problems as it melts since the drains are clear. However, if residents do see problems, they should contact their respective municipalities.