West Duluth Waits for City to Clear Snow Piles, More Snow Comes

Piles reaching 5 feet still obstruct businesses.

DULUTH, Minn.- While the weather was pretty quiet in the Northland on Monday, recent storms still left large mounds of snow in areas around the city.

One place where they’re especially high is West Duluth.

While the city has promised to get to those piles this week, more snow on the way could change that.

Ahead of their big Winter in the West Festival this Saturday, businesses in West Duluth are still anxiously waiting on the city to clear those small hills of snow.

“Trying to shovel it as best as we can. But it’s just getting a little bit too high and I don’t see the city coming down and giving us a hand at all.”

Here on Grand Avenue, Duluth Antique Marketplace owner Joanne Leland stares out of her window and sees nothing but dirty snow.

“The plows are out, and they pile it up a little bit higher every time,” she said. “Trying to keep the walkways open, but that’s even getting kinda hard because we just don’t have anywhere else to put it”

The piles have become unwanted residents, making a home for themselves in the most troublesome, and sometimes dangerous places.

“The biggest hindrance would be people can’t get in and out of the stores,” said Susan Coen, President of the West Duluth Business Club.

“What’s happening is the passenger’s side door can’t be opened because the snow banks are so high, and so the cars are parking off into the driving lane which is creating a safety issue.”

This concerns businesses, as this Saturday’s Festival brings a lot of foot traffic.

“If a person can’t get through with their children or with their strollers or even themselves to park and get out of the car, they’re just gonna not want to do it,” Coen said. ”

“And they’re gonna want to go do something else on their Saturday instead of fighting snow.”

Meanwhile, in a press conference last week, the city addressed the mounds, and the upcoming festival.

“We’d like to get to the Spirit Valley area business district in anticipation of their Winter West Festival, Feb. 23rd,” Chad Bednar, Street Maintenance Manager, said. “So we’re hoping this next week if it stops doing this, and the forecast stays true, we’ll be able to get in there.”

The city says they are not ignoring West Duluth, and that back-to-back storms have made it difficult for plow crews.

Unfortunately, that looks to happen again this week.

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