Boise State of Emergency: Facing Warmer Temps, Snow Plows Will Make Way for 'Vacuum Trucks' 

click to enlarge SCREEN CAPTURE
  • Screen Capture
Amid bone-chilling cold and too many unplowed or unnavigable streets, the Boise School District canceled classes for a third straight day Friday,  joining school districts throughout the region that decided it only made sense to keep as many cars and buses off the roads as possible.

The Ada County Highway District, with primary responsibility for maintaining the roads, will deploy its entire fleet of 37 plow trucks and 14 de-icing vehicles, working to clear a total of 4,800 lane-miles. ACHD officials said they have also hired 16 private road grader operators to help with the snow removal effort.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter issued an unprecedented state of emergency Thursday extending for the next seven days as the city marshaled its resources, redirecting its backhoes, dump truck and other equipment to assist ACHD in clearing the roads. The city of Meridian followed suit soon after, with Mayor Tammy de Weerd announcing the city was considering borrowing or renting its own snow removal equipment.

While Boise woke up to below-zero temperatures on Friday, the National Weather Service office predicts a dramatic warm-up in the forecast, bringing rain to the Treasure Valley. That also worries city and county officials, who now expect sudden and surging runoff into storm sewers.

During the thaw, ACHD officials said residents will see a lot more so-called "vacuum trucks," designed to clear debris from sewer grates to avert street flooding. The Boise city emergency declaration covers the current snow removal and next week's drainage challenges.

click to enlarge NWS forecast for Friday night through Monday, Jan. 9. - NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
  • National Weather Service
  • NWS forecast for Friday night through Monday, Jan. 9.

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