Roanoke City Council praised the effort, and acknowledged citizens' complaints following last week's massive winter storm.

Tuesday afternoon, council members said they've gotten an earful from citizens who were unhappy with the effort to clear city streets.

"We understand it's been a difficult time for a lot of our residents," said Mayor David  Bowers during Tuesday's city council meeting.

Council members said they have nothing but praise for city employees who worked 12-hour shifts through the weekend, but they asked if the city had taken the proper approach to the problem.

"Any citizen stuck in a situation where they cannot get out, can't go to work, can't do what they need to do, then we're all concerned," said council member Sherman Lea.

But city leaders also noted the difficulty of dealing with a storm that dumped 20 inches of snow in 24 hours.

City Manager Chris Morrill explained that 170 employees began working 12-hour shifts on Wednesday, keeping plows on the road around the clock through the weekend.

"We have about 1200 lane miles of streets that we have to plow," Morrill said. "To put that in perspective, that would be plowing one lane from downtown Roanoke to downtown Waco, Texas. That's the amount of area that we plow."

Council members said one apparent source of frustration was a citizen hotline that wouldn't accept complaints. City leaders say they're working on a different system for the next major storm.