Road crews prepare for snowstorm
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A snowstorm is expected to create a mess on the roads starting Thursday afternoon, and crews were busy all day Wednesday preparing for it.
The Division of Highways (DOH) tested out plow trucks and even pre-treated roads in some locations with a salt brine.
More than 100 trucks will hit the roads as soon as the first snow flakes fall, DOH maintenance engineer Kathy Rushworth said. It will take them a couple of hours to complete every route, so the brine is designed to prevent any major issues before more salt can be spread on the road.
“It is most effective to just treat with salt until we get a heavier accumulation of snow, and then we will plow after that,” Rushworth said.
Crews will begin plowing when there is about two inches of snow on the roads, and up to 6 inches is expected to fall with this storm. Plow drivers will work to completely clear the slow lane of major roads first before moving to other lanes and secondary county roads.
“We have to be flexible and prepared for whatever hits us, but we just ask the traveling public to adjust to travel conditions as well,” Rushworth said.
In Charleston, 17 plow trucks are lined up and loaded with salt for the storm. Public Works director Brent Webster said the storm is hitting at the worst possible time because it will impact both the Thursday evening and Friday morning commutes.
“It’s not going to be anything we have not done before or not seen before, but for us the less traffic the better because our vehicles are big and we want safe passage,” Webster said. “Our goal is like any time; we just want to keep the roads as safe and passable as possible.”
“We want people to understand that you can’t make an assumption that the roads won’t be slick, that the roads won’t be even icy even with salt on them,” Webster said. “So, if you don’t need to be out you shouldn’t. But if you are going to be out, you need to give yourself extra time, drive slower, (leave more) stopping distance.”
Roads in Charleston already have a lot of salt on them from predicted icy conditions earlier this week, Webster said. That will give crews a head start, but will only last a couple of hours with how fast the snow is expected to fall.
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