An April snowstorm crippled Northeast Wisconsin the weekend of Friday, April 13 to Monday, April 16 dumping 21 inches of snow on Appleton and 24 inches in Green Bay. Oneida Department of Public Works (DPW) and Oneida Police Department (OPD) employees rose to the challenge.
OPD Chief of Police Rich Van Boxtel stated his department was busier than usual from Friday night to Monday morning.
“Normally we get one, maybe two cars in the ditch a weekend, or some sort of motorist assist where we need to go help, between that time we had 50,” he said.
Oneida DPW Grounds Keeping Manager Redmon Danforth said it was all hands on deck for snow removal around Oneida.
“We had all employees within grounds keeping which is 18 employees from facilities, plumbing, wells and septic, electrical department, plus maintenance at various buildings that are on site,” said Danforth. “Considering the circumstances, I think it went well. It’s still going well, we’re still cleaning up. There was some substantial drifting at a lot of buildings that’s taking quite a while to clear.”
The near-continuous snow over the weekend caused Oneida to close tribal buildings on Monday so crews could clear parking lots and sidewalks. The heavy, wet snows created problems for the pick-up trucks normally used for plowing parking lots.
“The trucks couldn’t move the big drifts that the county plows were putting at the end of the driveways,” said Danforth. “So we’ve got three end loaders going around opening up so that they can get the trucks in there to plow the lots.”
Both Van Boxtel and Danforth had high praise for their employees who fought through the snowy onslaught.
“Our staff, our dispatchers, our officers out on patrol, handled it exceptionally well, and being able to navigate the enormous amount of snow along with the increase in response, I think they did extremely well,” said Van Boxtel.
“Excellent, awesome job, they’ve put in a lot of hours, and they’re still putting in hours. I can’t say enough, I appreciate all the hard work that they’re doing. Willing to come in and do it and stay till they get it done” said Danforth.
More spring like weather is expected to return next week, hopefully making Snowstorm Evelyn a distant memory.
“After we get through this week, we should be golfing right now and not shoveling. So we’re looking forward to that weather,” said Van Boxtel.