GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The Grand Valley was slammed with the first serious snow storm of the season, keeping first responders, tow trucks and city plows busy.
The storm may have been a few hours behind, but it packed a big punch.
Public works street manager Darren Starr said, "The big part of the storm the guys told me hit about one in the morning, and it was snowing so hard that the [workers] could barely see out there."
City snowplows hit the streets early, paving the way for a smoother ride into work, but not everyone avoided early morning fender benders.
"From midnight last night to noon today we had three calls into the dispatch center and that was only for the city limits of Grand Junction," said Kate Porras of the Grand Junction Police Department.
Not all traffic is on the roads, making clearing sidewalks and driveways an important safety measure.
"All of a sudden they can't get five to six inches of snow off their sidewalks ,so we do get a ton of calls. We have to prioritize our contracts first, but if we can get to those we do try,” said Dan Komlo with Bookcliff Gardens.
Komlo has expanded his business offerings to including snow clearing to help him get through the winter months.
"Our landscaping operations have just shut down recently, so we take the people that we have been employing for maintenance and landscaping, and shift them over to snow removal," said Komlo.
Snow removal is big business and expensive. But Starr said the snowplow budget is big and fluffy just like the white stuff.
"There is about $100,000 a year budgeted, and that covers about 13 storms, and of course last January, February and March was calm. [Public works] only spent $12,000 of that, so [I] started off with $88,000 to get through Dec. 31, which is great," said Starr.
However, the night is young, and while the snow may have melted off the roads, police are warning drivers to be careful as temperatures are expected to dip into single digits, making for icy roadways.
Additionally, Grand Junction Regional Airport officials say several flights were diverted here because of snow at their destinations.
All those passengers have taken off again, and anyone flying out tomorrow should be clear for takeoff as well.
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