Nichole Hannahs

The Science of Fighting Winter Weather

by Nichole Hannahs on January 24, 2014 at 8:46 am

Ohio Department of Transpiration crews gear up for another set of long hours as snow once again dominates the forecast.

Starting at midnight 16 to 20 crews per shift will take to the roads working to keep traffic moving. The frigid temperatures make fighting this storm different then others.

"If you treat too early in lower temperatures the salt will start melting the snow and then will rapidly refreeze," explained Phil Valentine Transportation Manager for Muskingum County. "You can have ice build up underneath the snow. You have to be really smart."

Valentine said that they’re on pace to set a ten year high for worst winter in terms of cost. Already they’ve used 8,600 tons of salt, traveled 100,000 miles and have about 8,000 labor hours.

Right now, they’re at 50 percent capacity for salt supplies.

"We’ve had so much salt used on the front of the storm that salt piles are starting to deplete down. It’s slowing down trucking that’s coming in. I wouldn’t necessarily think we had a crisis, but we do need to pace ourselves and be prepared for worst case scenarios," said Valentine.

1,500 tons of salt has been ordered for the Muskingum Garage. Friday, crews will also mix calcium and grit with the salt to help fight the winter weather.