screenshot from City of Issaquah Facebook

City of Issaquah has a slight shortage of snow plow staff with more snow expected

The city lost 11 plow drivers, would not confirm or deny if it was related to vaccination mandate

With more snow expected in Issaquah, beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 29 and expected to possibly continue through the New Year, the city says they are slightly understaffed in slow plow drivers this year.

City of Issaquah Spokesperson Autumn Monahan, said the city’s Public Works Operations currently has 18 staff members to operate the snow plows, four less than the 22 she said they typically would have.

When asked how many Public Works Operations employees may have resigned due to the vaccination mandate, Monahan said the city would “preserve confidentiality with individual reasons for separation and vaccination data,” but she did share that 11 employees that would have been able to operate snow plows separated from the department during 2021.

“Issaquah’s snow response may take longer than past storms as the City works to keep crews safe and operate with limited resources due to the pandemic,” said Monahan.

She said the snow plow teams would focus on clearing priority routes first, which she said are based on previous experience with winter weather events and Issaquah’s varying elevations.

In response to a Facebook comment from a resident, noting a less thorough job of plowing than previous years, the City of Issaquah Facebook account responded, claiming the plowers may make an initial pass on a street to maintain a route for emergency services. The comment said snow plows may return on routes to do a more thorough plow after.

A map of the snow plow routes and their levels of priority can be found here.

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