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South Williamsport, PA
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Gazette and Bulletin: January 27, 1939 – City Highway Department Reports No Facilities to Remove Ice from the Streets

With Williamsport streets covered with a sheet of ice, the result of snowstorms and freezing officials, officials at the City Highway Department admitted last night there is little they can do except to spread cinders at the more dangerous intersections. John M. Shaible, department superintendent, said it would be unwise to place cinders on all

With Williamsport streets covered with a sheet of ice, the result of snowstorms and freezing officials, officials at the City Highway Department admitted last night there is little they can do except to spread cinders at the more dangerous intersections.

John M. Shaible, department superintendent, said it would be unwise to place cinders on all parts of the ice-covered thoroughfares because sewers would become clogged when warmer weather arrives.

Except for the digging of ditches along the curbs in the business district and running a scraper over the ridge in the middle of the streets, the city has done little to remove snow from the streets. Following most of the recent snowstorms there has been a short period of thawing weather followed by severe cold, causing the ice to form.

Councilman George W. German earlier this winter said it would not be feasible to use the brushes or the scrapers on the street during a storm, such as other cities and the state department use. He said there is too much traffic in the city and in addition the snow would pile up in the gutters, preventing water running in the sewers during a thaw. He said removal of the pile snow from the gutters would be too expensive.

Mr. Shaible explained highway crews are continually working cindering the sections of the city considered dangerous. He said the use of any salt composition with the idea of existing ice was prohibited by the expense involved and that in addition, a health law prevents the use of salt.

Drivers in the city last night were called upon to exert more care than usual when snow started falling again, producing a covering for the ice already on the streets, and added uncertainty as to where the ice existed.

Compiled by Lou Hunsinger Jr.

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