Contracted plow drivers help people dig out after another snowstorm

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Thomas Thorpe drives his pickup and plow to clear off a driveway in Fargo. Tanner Robinson / WDAY

FARGO — Snowplows roamed the city streets all weekend, but some driveways around the metro were still covered Sunday, Jan. 19.

It meant more work for contracted snow cleaners, including Thomas Thorpe, who's been busy with jobs over the last two days.

Thorpe said he gets about 20 to 30 calls a day during any snowstorm.

"Most of the people are understanding," he said. "We get out there, and we get working, and (people are) happy to see us."

Thorpe said with each job, plowing is only half the battle.


"Our biggest challenge right now is finding places to put (the snow)," he said. "A lot of these housing developments don't have the space. They're so close together."

For all of the 10 winters Thorpe has helped remove snow, he said each storm is a different beast, with the storm that blasted the metro in December being easier to move since the snow was more wet.

However, the lighter snowstorm this past weekend is a bit tougher for him to move.

"This recent storm that we just had, the past 24 hours, with the wind, it has packed the snow in so tight (that) when you get to the driveway to push the snow, it's pretty much like running into concrete," he said.

Thorpe said his biggest challenge is moving around people and cars while he's plowing, which is why he prefers a specific time of day.

"My favorite part of it is at night, from like the 12 until 6 in the morning timeframe, because I kind of feel like I've got the town to myself," he said. "It's kind of neat."

For those cold nights in the tundra, Thorpe has a way to survive.

"I live on Monster drinks and beef jerky," he said.


And those are two ingredients that help him show the snow who's boss.

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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