December 26, 2009

Snowed out of most alleyways

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

Randy Lee (left) and Carl Cline of the City of Spokane Solid Waste Department collect garbage from an alley near 19th and Jefferson December 26, 2008 in Spokane, Wash. The snow was so deep around the container that Cline had to remove the trash (this bag had Kristy Kreme boxes) by hand and toss it into the truck. DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review
(Full-size photo)

One year ago today: Friday, Dec. 26, 2008: Christmas is over. Put out the trash. Headaches continue for solid waste employees. Most alley service is suspended in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane because automated garbage trucks can’t push through the snow. “We are officially out of the alleys until probably March,” says a Waste Management manager. The roof on a building at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center collapses; just a week earlier, families in need were there collecting vouchers and toys at the Christmas Bureau. Inland Northwest stores and businesses have been swept clean of anything with “snow” in the name – tires, chains, shovels and blowers. A Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman says that “stolen snowblowers are now more valuable on the street than stolen OxyContin.” The forecast for the next week: More snow, more cold.

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