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Lancaster snow removal slow, but steady

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LANCASTER, Pa. - Although full clearance of the city's streets remains elusive, city crews are making steady progress on snow removal.

On Mary Street, residents had been teaming up to clear the road until the plow came Tuesday evening.

"Something like this brings everybody out to work together," Rod Houser, a resident, said.

Some drivers still tested the limits of the uncleared city streets.

"Some people have been trying to drive through," Lauren Spigelmyer, a resident, said. "I watched a couple of cars get stuck, other cars pull them out. That's when I covered the car and went back inside."

The city is responsible for 130 miles of roads, and about 70 percent of them have been cleared as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Charlotte Katzenmoyer, Lancaster's public works director. TheĀ earliest all the roads may be clear is next Monday.

"The problem is that when it was this much snow and our trucks that can fit down these streets, couldn't even push it out of the way because it was so heavy and so much, there was a lot more that ended up having to be done after the storm," Katzenmoyer said.

The storm will likely wipe out Lancaster's snow removal budget for the year with two months of winter still to come, at a cost of roughly $250,000, she said.

The city has had to rely on contractors like Environmental Recovery Corporation to assist with snow removal, with city workers operating bulldozers and backhoes to scoop tons of snow into dumptrucks, which are hauling the snow to the Park City Mall and open city lots.

"If you're trying to find a parking spot or trying to navigate the streets, help keep businesses going, it's better to get the snow off the street so people are safe and drivers are safe as well," Kevin Rohrbach, with ERC, said.

Residents said they are fine with the slow and steady pace of snow removal.

"Everybody realized that the big arteries had to be cleared first," Houser said. "We don't have a lot of traffic through here, so mainly it was just to get the people out and from here to there."