As the ice storm cleanup effort continues in Sioux Falls, a couple of reminders are in order. This is a concerted effort among numerous departments of city government to remove all the debris. The sooner the cleanup is complete, then normal lives can resume.

First, make sure that vehicles parked on the street are away from the brush piles. City crews are making the rounds to pick up branches and will not risk damage to property if at all possible. Mailboxes and fire hydrants are included in this edict because if there is any chance that these objects are in peril, the crews will use caution.

Secondly, crews will make multiple passes through neighborhoods to gather materials. Rushing to get everything done before the cleanup folks pass you by is unnecessary. Complete the task at hand safely rather than quickly. That means you should learn the proper way to operate a chainsaw or using an extension ladder to get on the roof to trim those gnarly branches.

For example, using a stepladder to climb onto the roof of your house to trim tree limbs is not exactly the safest way to go about your job. The risk magnifies if you are at home alone with no one to assist you in case you take a tumble. In fact, you may even encounter a member of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue who is canvassing neighborhoods to check on people who might make such a foolish choice. They will actually inquire in a polite manner about your well-being and if you have access to an extension ladder that would be a better tool to complete the task. The will even help you get off the roof and guide your foot onto that stepladder if you ask them real nicely. Just sayin’.

Mayor Mike Huether has stated that this ice storm affected Sioux Falls greatly and it will take a long time to recover. Consequently, you (and I) are advised to go about our cleanup efforts the proper way. Especially when the alternative is potential serious injury which will mean the work will be put off a little longer or your neighbor may have to find it in their heart to have mercy on you.