City of Bozeman tackles pools of standing water in streets


BOZEMAN, Mont. - The wet weather kept Bozeman street crews busy on Thursday, after huge puddles started flooding intersections. The City of Bozeman explained they deal with these large pools of standing water every year, but this year is a little different. Bozeman residents said they could not believe the size of the of puddles in Bozeman on Thursday. "I thought I saw ducks and the loch ness monster coming out of one," said Bozeman resident Michael Wainwright with a laugh. But the City of Bozeman said these puddles can be a hazard to pedestrians. "If you've ever walked across ice with a little bit of snow on top of it, down you might go," explained Street Superintendent John Van Delinder. Van Delinder explained this year has been more of a problem, because of the heavy winter weather activity. "We've had consistent storms where we're not able to clean the entire city," he said. Van Delinder explained the puddles are created when plowed snow and ice builds up and blocks the storm drains, so when the water melts it had nowhere to go. "It tries to make it to the storm drain and it can't when there's snow," he said. When these large pools of standing water develop, the city's top priority is to clear main arterial roads and walking paths. "That's what we're concentrating on is the crosswalks or any kind of pedestrian corridor," Van Delinder said. To get rid of the large puddles, Bozeman uses hot water to cut a path in the ice, allowing the water to get to the drain. Bozemanites said though the puddles are inconvenient, they hope it is a sign that maybe the worst of winter is over. "It's a sign that things are warming up it means everything is thawing out," Wainwright said, "and we're a rugged community, it's part of the experience of living here." The City of Bozeman said if there is a large puddle pooled up in your area, contact them and they will help remove the blocked ice. They also recommend not parking in areas with big puddles, because it makes it harder for them to get their equipment close enough to melt the ice.