young woman in black coat cleaning ice from snow

With snow in Bend, can come berms of packed ice and snow plowed right across your driveway.

The city doesn’t have a good way to bring an end to the berms — yet. But there is at least some good news: The city will be experimenting this winter with a plow equipped with a gate that can be switched on and off to attempt to reduce or prevent berms. If it works well, the city could try to expand it.

Cross your fingers.

Berm or no berm, snow can be a weather wipeout for some people. They can’t or shouldn’t be out trying to shovel their driveways — let alone taking on a berm.

The city has for years tried to help them out. The city’s code enforcement has in the past kept a list of licensed and bonded contractors. You could also unleash the power of teenagers. They may be out of school and looking for a way to make some extra money. The important thing to do, of course, is to agree on what will be done and the price ahead of time.

Of the city’s neighborhood associations, Larkspur and Century West have good Samaritan programs up and running in which people can volunteer to help people in their neighborhood with shoveling needs. Other associations may have similar plans in the works. It sure would be nice if they all did.

If you know of someone who cannot afford to hire someone to shovel it, plow it or blow it, you could try to help them out yourself. But if they are really stuck, contact the city’s volunteer coordinator, Cheryl Howard. She can be reached at 541-388-5579 or choward@bendoregon.gov. She will try to find help.

Also don’t forget Bend’s shoveling requirements. City code requires that business sidewalks be cleared of all snow no later than 6 hours after the snowfall and residential sidewalks no later than 24 hours after the snowfall. Don’t expect the city to inspect every sidewalk to check, but please do your part to keep the sidewalks clear. And if you have the energy, after you finish your own driveway and sidewalk, pitch in and help someone else that needs it.

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