Therefore, the Ohio Department of Transportation has only spent about half as much on snow removal as last year, according to ODOT District 9 Public Information Officer Kathleen Fuller.
Last year, ODOT spent about $25 million for 331,000 tons of salt and the equipment and labor to spread it statewide.
This year, it has spent $13.6 million to spread 162,450 tons.
Since Nov. 1 of last year, ODOT has spent $568,679 to distribute 5,228 tons of salt in District 9.
The district serves several counties, including Scioto, Lawrence, Adams and Pike.
Last year's District 9 figures were not available, but Fuller said the district has used considerably less salt this year.
The unused salt simply stays in ODOT storage barns until it is needed.
Even though there has not been much snow, ODOT has been prepared anyway.
In January, February and March it has small crews working overnight from Sunday through Thursday even if there is no snow threat.
“We just add an 8-hour shift just in case there is early morning snow that could affect rush-hour traffic,” Fuller said. “They're out doing minor road work or they will stay inside working on or cleaning equipment.”
Just because the winter has been mild so far, there is no guarantee that trend will continue.
“We're pretty confident we'll be OK,” Fuller said. “But you don't want to be too confident because the weather in February or March can be as severe as it is in January.”
The National Weather Service in Wilmington has previously told the Portsmouth Daily Times that an El Nino system is responsible for warmer than normal temperatures.
Meteorologists said the area will see a lot of rain this winter with the chance of only one or two major snowstorms.