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Mother Nature delivers winter wallop

Scott Seitz2 • Dec 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Local crews are already out battling Mother Nature.

"We're out in it," said Bob Morgan, transportation manager for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Huron County post.

"We're treating the roads where needed," Morgan added.

Today's snowstorm -- which is being forecasted as blizzard -- is expected to bring 8 to 12 inches of snow, along with strong winds complete with drifting snow.

Morgan said ODOT crews go out on 12 routes around the county.

"It's around 500 lane miles," he said. "Maybe a little less, between 470 and 480."

Many times, drivers will have to plow an area they just plowed minutes earlier.

"That's the part that gets to you," Morgan said. "You go back and forth and it doesn't look like you were even there. It makes for a long day doing that."

Morgan said the night crew arrived at midnight and will work until noon.

A number of ODOT's plow trucks have been equipped this winter season with green flashing lights, which make it easier for drivers to see in storms.

This change happened due to a number of rear-end collisions between motorists and plow trucks.

Randy Eschen, assistant street department superintendent for the city of Norwalk, said crews are ready.

"We have seven big and two small plows," Eschen said. "And we have a couple pickups with snowplows, too."

Eschen said city crews followed the weather forecast.

"We'll try to address it and we'll by out spreading salt," he said.

Salt is in good supply this year.

"We're just in high cotton," Eschen said about the salt supply. "We have an extra 500 tons."

The city will still be careful with salt application.

"We're not going to waste it," Eschen said. "The salt spreader is set as they always are. Salt is money and money is tight, but at least we have it."

Eschen said crews didn't pre-treat the roadways this time, mainly due to Tuesday being the Christmas holiday.

"Normally, it if were any other day than Christmas, we would have been out pre-treating," he said, adding crews would use brine and beet juice.

This storm should easily top any snow from last winter.

"Last winter was mild," Eschen said. "We had a couple 1- or 2-inch events."

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard issued a Level 1 snow emergency this morning, meaning roads are snow-covered and icy and travel could be dangerous.

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