Road Crews Prepare for Wintry Weather

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

February 12, 2007

With the threat of wintry weather moving towards our area, road crews are on high alert.

"We have all of our trucks fueled up, plows are attached, and we are pretty much ready to go whatever happens," said Lou Hatter from VDOT.

As the winter weather approaches, road crews from VDOT and Charlottesville City are getting ready for whatever mother nature might throw our way.

"As soon as the storm starts, we will begin spreading that mixture of sand and salt. If temperatures get really low we will add calcium chloride to the mix to help it work," Hatter said.

But unlike the other two snow events, ice is a major concern. When heavy amounts of ice accumulate, the potential for downed trees and power lines can cause big problems.

"If trees are going down during the storm, then you have a road where the ice continues to accumulate and you can not necessarily get a truck there because the road is blocked by the trees," Hatter said.

For this reason, VDOT has put chain saws on many of the trucks to be able to cut away downed trees and debris. And as always, crews say the biggest help for them is if drivers simply stay off the roads.

"Whether you have two wheel drive, four wheel drive, or all wheel drive, when you are on ice, your stopping power is really nothing," Hatter said.

One thing road crews have working in their favor is there is still a fair amount of salt and sand left on the roads from last weeks storm. However, if the predictions hold true, it might be some long nights ahead of these workers.

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