Spokane begins long, expensive process of cleaning up storm dama - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane begins long, expensive process of cleaning up storm damage

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

As the Inland Northwest braces itself for the next big snow event, the city of Spokane is working to make sure the streets are prepared for whatever the weather brings. For the first time this year, city workers are doing a test run with GPS in 6 of their trucks. The city prioritizes main arterials and bus routes first. Then they hit hills, curves, bridges and finally residential streets.

WINDSTORM 2015: Aftermath photos

They have 41 plows, 15 de-icers, 10 sanders, and 10 graders, all working to take care of the city's 2,200 miles of arterials and residential streets. De-icing one mile costs about $15.

Each year the city budgets about $2.5 million for snow removal. In 2014 the city had about $150,000 left over in materials. With just a few weeks left of 2015 the city still has about $650,000. They do not expect to spend all of that by the end of the year.

But that money may come in handy, because of Spokane's major wind storm damage from November 17. This week the Spokane Parks Department is getting a better idea of just how much it's going to cost to repair all the damage, and how the city's going to pay for it.

If you've driven by one of the parks, you've probably seen the damage. It's extensive, and it's a big mess for the city to clean up. The city of Spokane has 87 parks, spanning more than 3,800 acres. Less than 10 made it through the storm without any damage. In a news conference, the Parks Department said 420 trees were toppled in city parks. 100 of those happened on city-owned golf courses.

Contractors began cleaning the parks this week, and estimate that the total cleanup cost could surpass $200,000. The majority of that money will come from budget reserves.

To help pay for part of the cleanup, the city will actually be selling fallen Ponderosa Pines to lumber companies. The trees they are not able to sell will be donated as firewood to SNAP to help families keep warm this warm.

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