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As Northwest Snow Recedes, Snow Removal Costs Tally Up

Anna King
Northwest News Network
An irrigation sits idle north of Pasco, Washington, in the snow that still blankets much of the Northwest east of the Cascades.

In Washington and Oregon, head-high piles of snow are starting to melt out east of the Cascades. But even Northwest cities that are used to clearing abundant snow are tallying up extra costs this winter.

In Oregon, Bend has spent nearly all of its $1.2 million budgeted to remove about 60 inches so far. That’s nearly double the snow the city usually sees.

And in Burns, the city has had to hire additional private crews to keep up as city crews have pulled overtime and a major grader broke down.

In Washington, Yakima has spent nearly $300,000 on pushing and melting the snow and ice away -- more than double its budget.

In Winthrop, Washington, town officials said they’re used to dealing with a lot of snow. So far this year, they’ve spent about $8,300 on sand, equipment and overtime. But all that snow has kept winter sports at play and hotels filled too.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.