Snow Plow Clears Roadway

A truck clears Highway 47 from a previous snowstorm.

The county highway department has already started preparing for the snow or ice storm that may hit the area soon.

Franklin County Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke said Wednesday her workers are pretreating danger spots such as hills, curves and bridges to prevent them from becoming icy.

She said calcium chloride is being put down, and the highway department fleet has been equipped with plows and spreaders so they will be ready to go once the storm hits.

All 58 employees of the highway department will be on hand for the coming storm, and she has authorized overtime if needed.

Crew members will be on alert through Wednesday night and early Thursday morning to see when the storm hits so they can go into action right away, making sure the more than 800 miles of roads get cleared.

Gadcke asks the public to please be patient with her department as the crew members do their best to clear heavily traveled roads first and then move on to less-traveled routes.

This will not be the worst storm her crew has responded to, she said. But if the event is an ice storm, Gadcke acknowledged that “anything could happen,” including downed trees, leading to potential road closures. An ice storm would cause more problems than  a snowstorm, she said.

If the roads get icy, she said cinders and salt will be put down to melt the ice and provide traction.

Gadcke urges motorists to drive slowly on the roads and give themselves extra time to get to destinations.

The highway department divides the county into an east and west district, and Gadcke said there will be an equal amount of equipment on each side.

Each district has three loading sites so trucks can be equipped with cinders and salts with reduced travel time, Gadcke said.