Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The early snowfall in Missoula probably won’t seriously affect the annual leaf pickup schedule that starts on Monday.

KGVO News spoke to Deputy Public Works Director for Streets Brian Hensel early Thursday morning about how his snowplow and sanding crews have been handling the early snowfall.

Early Snow won't Interfere with Leaf Pickup Schedules

“We have a priority system where we focus on main route streets with heavier traffic volumes; streets with steep grades and radiuses and that's what we've been doing the last 48 hours,” began Hensel. “We've had folks out all night the first night which was Wednesday, and then we're continuing working today. As the snow continues, we'll keep plowing, sanding and de-icing.”

Hensel said his crews understand how difficult and dangerous that first winter snowfall can be for drivers, many of whom haven’t been able to get their snow tires put on yet.

Brian Hensel with Public Works Advises Drivers to Slow Down on Icy Roads

“This first snow event can be difficult for people to get used to driving under the slick conditions,” he said. “The biggest thing is to slow down, give yourself more room to stop and be more conscientious while driving. Pay attention because it's going to be a little bit slick out there. We can't be everywhere all the time and get every square inch of asphalt and sanded and deiced immediately after it starts snowing, so I’m asking for the public's patience, and please drive extra careful.”

Hensel said There Should be no Delay in Starting Leaf Pickup on Monday

Hensel said his crews will have to be handling both snow and leaf removal for the next few weeks.

“As we get these snow events after Monday, our schedule will likely change because the same crew that picks the leaves up are the same ones that plow snow,” he said.  “Oftentimes we aren't able to get all the leaf collection done before it snows, but we'll do our best to keep information updated on our website and get as many leaves picked up as we can.”

Click here to see the city snow and leaf pickup schedules.

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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