A Look at Some of the Worst Streets in Des Moines Still Covered in Ice

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you drive only on the main roads, you might think the streets are all clear, but a quick drive down some residential streets and you will see there is still a lot of snow and ice to contend with.

Residents living on Des Moines Street on the east side say their street is by far the worst in the city. Inches thick of snow and ice refrozen on the roadway is leaving a bumpy, treacherous mess.

"Go real slow. Don't go barreling across these bumps because you'll lose the whole thing in one of those holes,” Don Alderman said.

Alderman knows this all too well. Living on Des Moines Street, the eastsider has to drive on the ice-covered mess daily, with divots big enough to take out some of the biggest of cars if they aren't careful.

"I saw a little car go through there the other night and it's the worst spot, the worst.” Alderman said. “I thought he was going to go clear down in the hole, but he stopped and looked at his car and whether he broke something on it or something I don't know."

Pastor Alan Mangum works at Galilee Baptist Church on the corner of East 22nd Street and Des Moines Street. He says for years he has dealt with terribly kept roads.

"During the winter, now I’ve been avoiding [the roads] because they are hazardous to your safety of your car,” Mangum said. “If you've been up there it's very dangerous. I mean, that intersection and that one."

Residents say plows did come through now and again, but a lot of snow and slush was left on the roads leaving a dangerous icy mess. Des Moines Public Works says there is not much they can do now with this thick of ice and temperatures too cold for salt to be effective.

"Right now the hardest part is keeping the ice down, at least, so we aren't tearing up vehicles and that the safety of the public is not compromised,” Chuck Burrell, Public Works Public Information Officer said.

While Burrell did admit this stretch of road was bad, he says sometimes it's about priority.

"The intersections where it sits flat like this, it's really not a troubled intersection,” Burrell said.

He says intersections with hills or a lot of traffic have to be addressed first. But just hours after seeing the roadway on Monday, they did get a plow out to treat it.

Burrell also said this problem of built up ice doesn't have anything to do with the brick-paved street, but rather storm sewer intakes getting blocked by snow and ice and not draining properly.

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