Snow plowing poses challenges for elderly residents

Snow piles challenging for elderly residents

SPOKANE CO., Wash. – There is a lot of snow falling in the Inland Northwest, but it has not been a winter wonderland for some.

“I was in tears when I called the county and KREM,” said Bev Bernair.

After snow plows came through her neighborhood last week, Bernair said she was even more stuck than before they plowed.

Before the snow in her yard was a pile, it was a berm in front of Bernair’s house. She said if she did not have four-wheel drive, she would not have made it out of her driveway.

Bernair said she had to hire someone to come shovel her out of her home twice in the last week because the berms were several feet high.

“It’s an extra expense for me and I’m on social security. I don’t think it’s right,” said Bernair. “I always keep my driveway and everything clear, and then they come in with no thought of what we have done.

Neighbors said the snow plows used to pile the snow in the center of cul-de-sacs and they liked that better. Now, the snow gets pushed up to the side and they said this makes it much harder for them as they are coming in and out of their driveways.

Bernair’s neighbor, Allen Jones, said he recently had open heart surgery, making him unable to clear the snow in front of his house. Jones is concerned that someone else in a medical emergency may not be able to get out of their homes if berms continue to be placed.

“What happens if you have a health emergency and have to get to the hospital? Which I recently had to do. With that big berm out there, you’re not going anywhere,” said Jones.

Spokane County officials said they understand people’s frustrations and concerns. They said they are watching the City’s tests with the boots for their plows to see if they could successful. However, they also said that the county roads require different procedures and there are more than 2,500 miles of roads to plow.

For now, Bernair, Jones and their neighbors remain frustrated and hope that plow drivers become more careful about where berms are placed.

“It was ridiculous. I mean, how a person could do that to a driveway or people living in a house, I don’t understand,” said Jones. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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