The cold temperatures have arrived in Anchorage, but not the snow. This is creating extra work for some and not enough work for others.
Ski resorts are relying heavily on man-made snow and team members of the Cross County Ski Team at Service High School even had to shovel snow from the soccer field onto trails that were lacking it.
Snow removal companies haven't been able to schedule workers at full capacity.
“You can't schedule a snow event or [even know] when it’s going to happen," said general manager of Alaska Snow Removal, Tabb Thoms, "but you can just be ready and prepped.”
Alaska Snow Removal has over 270 people on the payroll that count on being scheduled to remove snow for a winter job. As of Monday November 26, only about 40 employees are raking in hours.
“We are trying to keep our crew active," said Thoms, "[they] prepare vehicles and get them ready, cleaning them, maintaining them and just ready for when the snow starts to come.”
Until employees can begin hauling away snow, some are hauling in sand. Thoms said the sand adds traction for drivers on icy roads and parking lots.
While the lack of snow plowing is bad news for some, the Municipality of Anchorage is banking off of it.
“Last spring we were plowing snow right up through April so this does help close the gap, as we say,” said Municipality of Anchorage maintenance & operations director Alan Czajkowski.
He explained that even though this is another season, it is still the same fiscal year. Dry roads have enabled the Municipality of Anchorage to make up for the massive amounts of overtime they paid employees to clear snow in the spring.
Alaska Snow Removal says at the busiest time last year they had over 2,000 hours a week in overtime. So far this year they have paid zero overtime.
Contact Mallory Peebles