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Thanksgiving Blizzard: One year later

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It was November 30, 2019, when the first snow fell of the infamous Thanksgiving Blizzard which produced nearly two feet of snow for some.

The blizzard was a once in a decade storm that left streets snow-covered for many days.

For the Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj, this proved to be an issue responding to calls.

"There is dedicated what we call 'talking channels' on our radios. We have those dedicated channels set up so we know, 'hey if you're on the west side plow district call this channel,' east side, call this channel," said Krizaj.

Duluth Street Maintenance Operations Coordinator Geoff Vukelich agrees communication is key in clearing the streets faster.

"We had good communication between inter-departmental people and staff but realistically we had to come together and work at snow removal as a whole," said Vukelich.
"We have incorporated a couple of other departments in the snow removal process, the biggest thing we learned is we need to work as an entire city not just a street maintenance department."

Superior faced similar issues as a result of the Thanksgiving Blizzard. Mayor Jim Paine said he is looking to add different ways to keep the public informed after snowstorms as well.

"In the future, I would like to be able to show the public where the plows are at any given time and so they can see they are out, what they have cleared already, and what they are clearing right now," said Paine.

Both cities, Duluth and Superior agree they have learned many lessons since the storm one year ago.

Peter Kvietkauskas

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