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Weather Feature

SIOUX CITY -- The long winter of 2018 has forced the city of Sioux City to overspend its snow removal budget for the first time in seven years.  

On Monday, following a weekend storm that dropped 5.7 inches of snow on Sioux City, city finance director Donna Forker said that the city has spent more than $12,000 above the $1.42 million budgeted for snow removal during the fiscal year that ends June 30.

"We're $12,510 in the hole," she said. 

That number will grow as expenses continue to roll in from the clearing of snow from last weekend's blizzard. Another winter storm could drop 1 to 3 more inches of snow on the city Tuesday night into Wednesday. 

To cover those expenses, Forker said the city is dipping into fund balances from its road use fund, which has come in under budget for the past few years.

This is the first year the city has outspent its snow budget since the 2011 fiscal year, when the city went $97,500 over.

The city's snow budget covers all costs related to snow removal, from extra fuel to run plows to overtime pay for the workers who operate them. The city adjusts the budget each year to accommodate changing personnel costs.

Sioux City has so far received 42.7 inches of snow this winter, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. That's 8.4 inches above normal for this time of year.

The weather service has placed Sioux City in a winter storm watch for most of Wednesday, with snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches possible in the region. 

If the city receives 4.3 inches or more, this year will go down as the second-snowiest April on record, surpassing the previous second-highest total of 11.2 inches set in April 1997.

It seems unlikely the city will break its 105-year record -- 23 inches fell during the snowiest April ever in 1913. 


City hall reporter

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