I.T.D. works to plow Highway 55

Highway 21 remains closed
Posted at 11:17 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 01:17:40-05

Highway 21 remains closed because of snow and on Highway 55, the Idaho Transportation Department is working overtime.

Cory Kelly has been working for the Idaho Transportation Department based out of Banks for more than 11 years. He says if it’s snowing, he's on call and when he plows he works three p.m. to three a.m.

He drives the stretch between Horseshoe Bend and Smiths Ferry.

“When it gets dark, the snow really starts to beat on the windshield. Have you ever seen the movie Star Wars where they go in to hyper space and it has all that stuff coming at you, that’s what you get to look at all night long.”

He says they've been getting hit hard with snow recently, but he'll never forget how much there was two years ago when he worked to clear avalanches on Highway 21.

“Some of the ones that were dealing with were 60 feet tall. You have to get equipment up top and they push it down across into the canyon off the roads.”

He says his job isn't just all about plowing snow.

“I went through the little canyon and was coming back and noticed footprints in the snow and I’m like there really should be somebody out walking and sure enough there was a young adult was walking down the road, a kid and I stopped and was like man why are you walking in the middle of a snow storm. He goes I couldn’t find a ride to Boise and I have to get to Boise and I’m like okay get in. I’ll take you down to at least as far as I can go.”

For him, every day is a rewarding experience.

"Just providing a service for the public so like you kind of give back. You give people the opportunity to either go to places to have fun, to get away from their job or to get them to work."

Kelly says it’s important for drivers to be patient with snowplows and give them their distance because they can’t see cars right behind them.

For updated road conditions go to 511 Idaho