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Aberdeen receives ‘Blizzard of Oz’ snowplow ahead of winter storm

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Aberdeen area Department of transportation has over 30 snow plow drivers out Friday, helping to clear the road from the winter storm snowfall. Luckily, a new plow was just added to the fleet.

The second-annual South Dakota Department of Transportation ‘Name the Snow Plow’ contest was conducted in December. This is a contest open to the public to come up with a name for one snowplow in each of the designated 12 parts of the state.

”The naming contest is a fun way to engage the public and kind of inform them about safety procedures and our 511 system,” said Bruce Schroeder, the Aberdeen area engineer for the DOT.

Department of Transportation staff say the contest has resulted in a higher amount of public engagement.

”We’ve had a lot of interest. The first year, we had about 850 entries and this year we’ve had about roughly the same number,” said Schroeder.

The staff at the DOT get to vote for the winners. The Aberdeen area winner was Jessica Wimer of Leola, who entered the name ‘Blizzard of Oz.’

”I thought that was creative, it had a unique tie to Aberdeen, so I enjoyed that,” said Schroeder.

The new snow plow arrived in Brown County Thursday and it will be stationed in the Faulkton area. Last year’s winning name was Darth Blader. That snow plow is in service in Aberdeen.

”And then there’s also a banner or visor cover that goes on the plow that has the name, so when they see it driving down the road, they know it’s their plow,” said Schroeder.

As well as a personalized name Banner, the snow plows also have new safety features.

”And it also has the blue light on the back, which helps increase visibility during poor conditions,” said Schroeder.

The blue lights were added to snow plows beginning in 2020 to signal other drivers to take caution.

”The biggest thing the public can do is slow down, check 511 before they leave on their trip for road conditions, and just give the plows enough room to do their job. Don’t crowd the plow,” said Schroeder.

To check road conditions, visit SD511.org

View the other winners of the ‘Name the Snow Plow’ contest here.

View more winter driving safety tips here.

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