The Quad-Cities basked in sun and temperatures into the 40s Tuesday, but public works crews continued to deal with a heaping helping of winter.
Plows cleared out the last of the nearly 6 inches that fell Monday and struggled to get the snow out of the way of motorists and pedestrians alike. The Quad-Cities reached a record 53.3 inches of snow for the season with Monday's storm.
"The snowfall is becoming so significant because we haven’t had a thaw until starting today," said Doug House, Moline's municipal services general manager. "All the snow that we’ve gotten is still there."
With temperatures forecast in the 40s through Thursday, public works crews will turn their attention to clearing as many catch basins as possible ahead of rain forecast for Thursday.
Public works crews out plowing on Tuesday experienced the same problems as homeowners who have watched their driveways get narrower with each successive snowfall. Mounds of snow are beginning to creep into the streets.
"I’m hoping for as much melt as we can get," said Eric Longlett, Davenport's street maintenance engineer. "We are to the point where it is tightening our street lanes."
Garbage pickup hasn't been an issue despite the growing mounds of snow. In Moline, public works plowed alleys for garbage pickup for the third time this season. Davenport has a plow assigned to clear out garbage routes, too.
Bettendorf Public Works director Brian Schmidt reported Tuesday afternoon that Mother Nature already was helping.
"We were running out of room, but this weather we had (Tuesday and Wednesday) will help us immensely if we get more snow," he said.
Snow cleared from city streets cannot be simply dumped into the Mississippi River, so empty lots become containment areas.
Davenport crews are pushing snow into 4-foot tall rows before loading it into dump trucks and hauling it to a lot behind the former public works building on Marquette Street. Moline uses the Riverside pool parking lot. Rock Island uses a lot near the city's public works building.
Longlett watched a parade of dump trucks haul snow to the Marquette Street site. Although he hasn't seen the lot recently, he has a good idea what it looks like.
"I'm sure it is quite a mountain," he said.
Residents and businesses have to make do with what space they have. Moline's House has seen it all.
"Every little guy with a blade on his pickup or snow removal company was out Monday clearing snow," he said. "If you have a lot in your neighborhood that doesn’t have a house built on, you’ll see snow piled on there."
St. Ambrose University and Genesis Health System face the same problems as homeowners. Crews push snow to the corners of staff parking lots. At Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, it goes to the corners of the roof of the parking ramp. Space is running out.
"We have a number of spots where we try to move snow, but we're getting to the point where we contract with Treiber Construction to truck snow out when it becomes a safety hazard," said Dwayne Thurston, manager of engineering/maintenance/construction for Genesis Medical Center.
St. Ambrose workers push snow into open green space, but those snow piles are getting more than 10 feet tall, so they are finding other open areas. Snow hasn't been hauled to the nearby St. Vincent's property — yet.
"We are using our tractors to push it into open yards," said Jim Hannon, St. Ambrose's director of physical plant services.
Snow from Bettendorf schools parking lots is going wherever it will fit, including a football practice field and tennis courts at the high school.
"We were in good shape until this last snowfall," said John Campbell, the district's director of operations. "Weather is breaking here, so hopefully, it will wash away. We are in good shape."