“Most of the roads we are plowing off if it hasn’t packed in enough to where you’re better off just treating it, because sometimes when you plow if you’re not careful it will glaze it over basically,” Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman said. “But most of our roads we are directly plowing them off and going behind and treating them. Later, when it breaks up a little bit more, we will run back through and plow them and treat them again.”
Opperman said the kind of storm the area experienced causes departments like his to have to balance safety, money and timing.
“You don’t know when the snows are going to hit,” Opperman said. “This one has kind of been scattered, too, especially on the back side of this. The last time I talked to those in Wheelersburg and I talked to my superintendent, he said the roads were starting to break up from our earlier morning applications. So it should be easier to plow off the slush later today.”
Opperman said in reality it would probably take some time to get it all cleaned up. He said he also had concerns for the winds he was watching in the regional forecast.
“The only thing that is kind of affecting us are these winds,” Opperman said. “I was watching those earlier, and the winds are up in the teens going back to even on the other side of Indiana. It’s still heading our way, so we’re going to see a fair amount of drifting in some areas. So people are going to have to be careful and mindful of those spots where the snow is blown back onto the roadways.”
Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for District 9 of the Ohio Department of Transportation, had been out riding in one of the plows to get a feel for what work was being done.
“We started our shifts at midnight yesterday (Monday midnight) actually. The first six or seven hours were slow. We didn’t have any activity with snow and ice, but then, ever since about 7 (a.m.) o’clock yesterday (Tuesday) morning, it has been non-stop for us,“ Fuller said. “It has been very busy for our crews, and we are at full staffing right now. We have everybody that is available on the highways. We’ll keep on our 12-hour shifts through today (Wednesday) and hopefully we’ll get out of today and get a little bit of a reprieve.
Portsmouth City Services Director Bill Beaumont said his crews had been out since early morning.
The National Weather Service at Wilmington was calling for mostly cloudy weather today with the high expected to be around 27, and a slight chance of snow showers after 3 a.m. tomorrow, with an overnight low of 17.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.