Only two workers handle the snowy roads in local village - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Only two workers handle the snowy roads in local village


Some places in Michiana have dozens of plows on the roads when winter weather hits.  But in the Village of Michiana, Michigan it's just Rick Reitz and one other guy who clear the roads.

"This has been a terrible winter. A lot of hours plowing snow," said Rick Reitz, the Michiana, MI Superintendent of Public Works.

Since it's just Reitz and one other worker clearing the hilly, curvy roads in Michiana, MI he has to be ready to work at all times.  "The police department generally calls us when we get enough snow to plow," said Reitz.

And this winter his phone has been ringing off the hook.  "Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Seven days a week," said Reitz.

Those days fill up fast because even when he's not plowing the roads, there's plenty of other weather-related work to do.

Reitz said, "Not only do we do streets, we do water too.  Had a lot of main breaks and a lot of water freeze-ups right now."

Between snowy roads and frozen pipes, Reitz hasn't had much free time.  "My wife, she calls herself a winter widow cause we had so much snow this year," said Reitz.

Reitz said this winter hasn't just kept him busy, it's stretched his budget pretty thin too.  Especially compared to last year.  "Probably double my fuel usage, more salt. Probably doubled the salt usage and overtime hours," said Reitz.

At least when it comes to the salt he had some leftover from less-snowy winters.  Reitz said, "I've gone through this year's salt, last year's salt, and I'm working on two years ago salt."

But you'll never hear Reitz complain about his job.  He said he loves it.  But he knows his wife is ready to have him back home.  So for her sake he's ready for a change of season.  "I'm waiting for Spring. Wish the groundhog had a different way but I guess not," said Reitz.

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