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February 14 2022 12:00 am

How the West Virginia DOH is preparing for upcoming snow

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Winter weather is on the way, and the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) has already started treating the roads.  

Employees will start their split shifts Wednesday night and have crews out all night around the clock until the snow is cleaned up. 

“We’re treating 70 gallons of salt mixture per mile,” said Lee Runyon from the WVDOH.  

The WVDOH District 1 covers Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Mason and Putnam counties. More than 100 salt trucks and more than 200 employees are pre-treating the roads and on standby working in two 12-hour shifts.  

“We mix up a salt solution and spray it on the roads prior to the storm coming in and that helps us make the snow not stick to the roads as much once it comes and makes it easier, we hope to plow off and keep the roads free of snow or ice,” Kathy Rushworth, District 1 Maintenance Engineer said. 

It usually takes around an hour for a salt truck to empty.  

“It’s a 2000-gallon tank on the back of this and it’s got safety features, 1700 gallons is all I’ll put out and I’ll go get reloaded,” Runyon said.  

In other places, other materials are used to treat the roads, but not here.  

“If it is very, very cold the brine isn’t as effective, but we think tomorrow given the relatively warm temperatures and the dry event starting with snow that brine will be effective,” Rushworth said.  

If you do have to be out in inclement weather, don’t.  

“Please slow down, don’t be distracted. Leave extra clearance for stopping. If you can, adjust your schedule,” Rushworth said.  

Employees say once the snow starts falling, it takes about three to four hours to get the primary routes treated.  

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