Montmorency County receives, on the average, 100 inches of snow in a winter. This snow, compounded by the drifting that we get, makes a job out of keeping roads open all winter. Generally, we don't like to work over eight to ten hours as it is more dangerous plowing at night, and we want our snow plow drivers rested for the next morning. However, they sometimes work seven days a week during the winter.
The primary roads are plowed first, and then the drivers go on their routes. Within each route, the "more main" routes are plowed first. Unfortunately, someone must be first, and someone must be last, and, depending on where you live, it may be late in the day before your road is plowed. If the driver on your route gets stuck or has a breakdown, it may be later than usual.
After a storm, we try to open a narrow path down all roads the first day and widen them out the second day. If another storm hits the second day, we start over, and it could be several days before all the roads are widened out.
We get in a lot of trouble when widening these roads because it tends to fill driveways. Contrary to popular opinion, we cannot lift the plow at driveways, swerve away from driveways or put all the snow across the road from driveways. The worst case is when you are unable to plow or snow blow your own drive, and our truck fills it just after your plow driver has left. You may even have more of a problem than your neighbor depending on how the snow drifts at your driveway.
It is a wonder that our drivers are able to plow so close to mailboxes day after day and rarely hit one. If we do hit one, we will replace it with a common mailbox, not a fancy one. If the snow coming off the plow knocks your mailbox off, you are liable for that.
Please do not put your garbage on the shoulder of the road in the winter; we probably will hit it, and you will have a mess.
We cannot plow any private roads or driveways. The law does allow road commissions in the Upper Peninsula to plow drives but not here.
We do not necessarily plow all County Roads. Some are too narrow, too steep or don't have a place to turn around. In most cases, school buses will only go on plowed county roads, so check with us before you buy or build a house if you are not sure.
When County trucks are working on the road, they are exempt from the motor vehicle code. This allows them to back up in the roads, plow intersections, drive on the shoulder, etc.
When our trucks are loaded full of snow, it is sometimes hard for them to see a small car. For this reason, you should try to stay clear of County trucks as they may not do what you expect.
Also, our trucks are not capable of plowing at 70 MPH as we are sometimes accused, more like 35 - 40 MPH. With all the snow flying, it appears the truck is going faster. It is important for them to go relatively fast to get the snow thrown back far enough so a high bank doesn't form.
We have to push back high banks with a grader and wing plow, and that is very time consuming. One last thing, if you have an emergency and need to get plowed out in a hurry, call the Sheriff's Department or the State Police. They will get in contact with us and get you out.