Almost 200 calls received by noon to Tuesday

On the heels of last weekend's winter storm that dumped almost 14 inches of snow on Hannibal has come a flurry of complaints regarding the condition of city streets.

Edie Price of the Hannibal Department of Public Works and Streets has answered most of the complaints. Price fielded 134 phone calls between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday. As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, another 50 calls had come in.

"That does not include emails or Facebook requests," she said. "That is just me (answering calls). That doesn't include the calls that came in to other offices within the city."

The tone of the calls varies greatly.

"I have some people who are super appreciative and understanding. And then I have other ones that don't care. They wanted us there 10 minutes before they called," Price said.

Regardless of the complaint, Price's response is similar.

"We just ask people to give us time," she said, pointing out that 10 full-time street department employees are trying to clear approximately 300 miles of city streets. "We know the roads are bad and snow is in the way. We are trying as best as we can to get the roads open as quickly and safely as possible."

In some instances citizens are verbally taking their frustration out on plow drivers.

"That doesn't help our world any," Price said. "This is a job where our guys are away from their families, working 12-, 14- and 16-hour shifts. They are trying to go down streets that are extremely narrow and have cars on both sides, and super steep hills. We just ask the community to please be understanding of that."

Three parks department drivers manned trucks over the weekend. The city, however, passed on the opportunity to utilize Hannibal Board of Public Works personnel to help move snow. That may change this weekend when another winter storm sweeps through Northeast Missouri.

"This will be a different kind of storm than the one we just had because at least before it was right at freezing so our salt mix worked. But if it is 2 degrees it won't matter, our mix won't do anything. There would just be ice-packed streets," Price said.

danny.henley@courierpost.com