LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - All hands are on deck in the City of Leavenworth as crews continue to work in winter storm recovery mode.
Last week, the storm blasted the city with about four feet of snow.
About two dozen National Guard members from Spokane arrived in Leavenworth on Monday and continue canvasing neighborhoods to check on community members. Soldiers are also shoveling walkways and driveways when it’s safe to do so.
"A lot of individuals are having trouble getting in and out of their residence, and we’re just driving around checking to make sure that they were able to have the supplies that they need," said Captain Bill Russell, WA National Guard. "Anytime that we can get out there, and make that impact with the community, that’s always a big win."
Captain Russell said his team will continue operations in Leavenworth until the Mayor believes snow removal and welfare checks are under control.
"The snow has been hauled away. It’s been cut back to basically a full street or at least two lanes worth of our local streets," said Mayor Carl Florea in regard to snow clearing. "For emergency access and for all that and to have places to put the snow on the next [storm]. We’re not at the end of winter. We know that, so we have to get prepared for that."
Mayor Florea said there’s a possibility the 24-hour snow operations could wrap up by Thursday, and by then, the City could have spent half a million dollars to remove snow.
"This is not the time that you can count pennies and try to figure that out. You do what needs to be done for the community," said Mayor Florea. "When you get this much, there’s no way we’ve got a big enough crew to be able to… they look at this, and they say it would take us a week to do the highway itself."
Private contractors have joined efforts to clear snow throughout the city of 2,000 people.
Locals in town tell FOX 13 News the last time there was this much snow in Leavenworth was back in 1996, and according to Mayor Florea the snow fell over a couple of weeks as opposed to this time when it dumped several feet of snow in about 24 hours.
"Two gentleman [from the National Guard] came yesterday just checked and asked how we were doing asked if we needed any help or if we knew of anybody that needed help," said Gabrielle Snyder. "There’s a real variety of needs out there, so while this had been a blessing for us we love to ski we love the snow, it has not been a blessing for everybody, and it’s been really hard on some folks. We’re really happy to have the extra help."
Some houses were damaged in the snow storm, and the Mayor says there are concerns further problems and even roof collapses could happen in the coming days.
Mayor Florea said if snow removal keeps moving at a fast pace, the Chamber of Commerce could hold planned events this weekend in the Bavarian Village.
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