Local news

Spokane man clearing sidewalks

While city crews focus on clearing berms, Martin Nelson says he wants to help pedestrians

Martin Nelson’s goal Thursday was to shovel the sidewalk along Monroe Street up to 14th Avenue by sundown.

The 50-year-old had started Monday at 10th Avenue.

“Everybody was walking in the middle of the street,” said the semiretired Nelson, with sidewalks in the area impassable because of snow berms. “I want to keep it clear for the kids. If I can keep everyone out of the street, I’ll be happy.”

Nearly a month after the first snowstorm hit, efforts to dig out from under the record 75 inches of snow are still under way in Spokane. Around Lewis and Clark High School, snow berms make it impossible for parents to drop off students at the curb. Paths have been dug from the street to the sidewalk for students who are dropped off by buses, but sidewalks remain partially buried by snow.

City crews have been working to knock down berms around Spokane since last week.

“We did do work around 12 different schools one day, and a few more the next day,” said Marlene Feist, city spokeswoman. School officials said elementary schools have been the priority.

Kristy Milroie, spokeswoman for Spokane Public Schools, said the district’s maintenance crew was getting around as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, the Inland Northwest has moved into the next weather pattern – fog. Dense-fog advisories are lasting into the afternoon each day, followed by patchy fog.

Even foggy London town and San Francisco are clearer than Spokane these days, according to weather experts. The fog will be around until at least Sunday, said Greg Koch, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

The fog is sticking around partly because of a lack of movement in the air. The stagnant air mixed with a ridge of high pressure over the area keeps it locked in, said Jeremy Wolf, a meteorologist with the weather service.

An air-stagnation advisory for the Inland Northwest that was scheduled to end Sunday has been extended until Tuesday afternoon.

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