'We've got several plows and sanders de-icing for 48 hours'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Snowplows have been rolling through Eugene and Springfield's streets since early Friday morning, and officials say their drivers will have to start again before sunup Saturday. Sand truck driver Brad Snider said his schedule is 12 hours on-12 hours off for the next few days.

"I guess I would be one of the veterans this is my 7th winter," Snider said.

Snider is one of a dozen drivers ready to roll from Eugene Public Works in a snow situation.

The city's emergency communication center has dispatchers send the fleet to the worst sections of town. Operations manager Eric Johnson said those areas could be almost anywhere.

"We're mainly on our priority routes - which are the arterial collectors - and then we are in the south hills where we have a larger amount of snow right now," said Johnson. "We've got several plows and sanders. A few de-icers out right now. We've been de-icing for 48 hours."

Eugene Public Works sanding crews started up at around 4 a.m. Friday, trying to keep 600 miles of primary snow routes open and passable.

Plowing duties includes the parking lot at public works. Johnson says it's pretty much all hands on deck.

"This is a priority for us, right now so all of our staff checked in this morning to find out. We've got people downtown shoveling crosswalks and sidewalks," said Johnson.

He said the crew laid down hundreds and hundreds of yards of sand on Eugene streets Friday.