Five days after the snow started falling across Minnesota, crews are still trying to clean up the mess left by the Twin Cities fifth biggest snowstorm on record.
It's a time-consuming process, as residents and drivers are only too aware.
One of those drivers is Shavon Glaser, a mother of three from North Branch. In the winter, she spends the night shift in a plow truck. She spent Tuesday night driving a 12-ton, tandem-axle dump truck along Kellogg Boulevard, scraping the snow off and into the medians between the traffic lanes called islands.
Glaser's job is to make the islands look pretty along Kellogg. The goal is to get the curbs showing with no peaks on the islands.
With an impending Minnesota Wild hockey game Wednesday night, the streets around the Xcel Center need to be as clean as possible.
But, like everything else this week, that's easier said than done, once you get behind the wheel. Some of the windrows left on the streets are as high as passing cars.
"It's kind of hard to tuck this stuff up on the island when the island is only so big," Glaser said.
Glaser said at this point, plowing is a little like trying to frost a cake with a snow shovel.
"There's more snow than I know what to do with," she said. "You know a skid loader would work better for this, because you're constantly trying to back up into traffic [and] trying to turn this huge monster around."
She spent about three hours Tuesday night doing just that.
The goal was to get the streets downtown as close to full-width as possible. Glaser did most of it straining to see out her side window, about 8 feet off the ground, looking for someplace to put more and more snow.
Glaser and her plowing partner, Jeremy Lemmons, ran out of room for the snow piled on Eagle Parkway at about 2 a.m. early Wednesday morning.
It's a painstaking process at this point, and probably a little disheartening for people threading through the narrow residential streets of St. Paul. Some have been cut down to barely over half their usual width by the mammoth snow banks pushed up by plows over the weekend.
Glaser's boss, Doug Drusch at the public works garage on Dale Street, said he'd like to improve them, but there's only so much his plow crews can do after a nearly two-foot snowfall and two consecutive snow emergencies.
"We do residential streets during the day, and the reason why we do that is because all of the people are at work during the day, so it's easier for us to get in there," Drusch said. "We don't like to do it at night, because then we run into the problem with all the parked cars."
Jeremy Lemmons also works for Drusch. He stopped for a break at a gas station on Rice Street last night, but was back pushing snow after plowing for 18 hours straight over the weekend.
"Well, it feels like you got something done," Lemmons said. "You can at least drive down the street instead of getting stuck every five feet. You can easily get from point A to point B without figuring out what streets to take and what streets not to take."
Drusch said it will get better than that.
"People have to understand that we're going to get there. It's going to take some time, but we're going to get there and do the job right," he said. "So they need to have patience."
Plow drivers say a break in the weather and some warmer temperatures wouldn't hurt either.