MSU snowplow operators: Moving all that snow is cool

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Michigan State University was buried under a foot of snow Wednesday.

For some, a huge snowfall might bring joy. For most, the snow will hinder their day-to-day lives, but for essential workers, getting into work and completing their job does not stop no matter how much snow comes down. 

That is exactly what happened on 2/2/2022.

On Wednesday, Jerry Wahl, a snowplow worker for MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities landscape services cracked, “5 a.m., yup, all the way to 10 p.m.”

Wahl and his crew were put to the test. Since the snow was heavier than normal, ice formed under the fluffiness of snowflakes on top, hindering the crew. 

“The craziest thing that’s happened besides the lack of sleep, it was just really, really icy so we were just sliding around in parking lots,” said Wahl. “A couple of my guys had some minor fender benders and stuff. One hit a baler, one hit a car.”

But for MSU IPF landscape services employee John Conklin, his most important part of the day may not have been clearing the snow.

“There was a car stuck on the Harrison road train tracks and I actually got out and pushed him off the tracks. And then, as I was getting into my truck, the gates went down, so it was probably a good thing I stopped,” said Conklin. 

Even though the storm was powerful and relentless, MSU essential workers found a way to take it with a smile.

“The best thing is the beautiful pictures everybody’s getting,” said MSU culinary service worker Dane Newport. 

And because the snow made it tougher to get jobs done, that made work more satisfying. 

“The best part was actually getting a foot of snow and moving it … it’s kinda cool when you drive to a road and it’s all snow covered, and then on your last pass you’re looking at it and say, ‘wow there was 6 inches of snow there and now there’s none, that’s cool,” said Conklin.

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