Snow plow drivers prepare for Thursday night winter weather

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Brine, plows and salt could be headed to a street near you. Meteorologists predict up to two inches for the Mid-Ohio Valley Thursday night. Snow plow drivers are preparing.

“We’re switching tailgates on trucks where we’ve been doing other jobs while it hasn’t been snowing,” said TJ Edgell, a highway technician with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

ODOT District 10 has 40,000 tons of salt and 123 snow and ice dump trucks to plow and deploy that salt.

While the City of Parkersburg has a smaller fleet, they also cover considerably less area than the nine counties inside District 10. Parkersburg has five five-ton dump trucks, including a brand new Hino.

“We just got a new five ton Hino. This will be its maiden voyage. I hate to say we’re ready to try it out because you know, we’re not asking for snow, but it’ll be a good opportunity to try it,” said JD Karcher, a supervisor of snow removal for the City of Parkersburg.

Officials say salt and plows are used differently depending on the snowfall.

“That depends on the coverage of course. If you get deeper amounts of snow, two to three to four inches, you’re better off to plow first,” said Karcher.

And salt has its limits.

“It’s effective down to the upper teens, you’re still good. Twenties, upper teens, you’re still good with salt. That’s when you’d utilize the plows,” said Karcher.

For those driving in the snow, a press release from the Ohio Department of Transportation says to be patient with truck drivers, they travel below posted speed limits. Plow drivers also ask other drivers to stay back from trucks, especially on hills which may have stops.

They also ask everyone to be courteous with their high beams.

“When it’s snowing hard and you’re trying to watch salt from the back of the truck and plowing in the front, make sure you got your low beams on,” said Edgell.

For your safety, ODOT says not to use cruise control in snowy or icy conditions and be weary of roads that appear dry as they may have black ice on top.