CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Sometimes it can be difficult for municipalities to plan ahead especially when it comes to Mother Nature. When winter weather hits, there are 17 routes in the City of Charleston that need to be covered. All in all during an ice event or measurable snow there is a joint effort between public grounds, the street department and mechanics that can involve more than 30 people per shift.
“To have two pretty good size storms it has taken a lot of the resources,” said Brent Webster, Director of Public Works in Charleston. “We’ve managed them pretty well. We were fully staffed in both events.”
During the past two storms in Charleston, he said there were some mechanical issues and some trucks ended up in the ditch because of ice. But no one was hurt and there is still enough salt to cover winter weather that is on the way.
“We are in good shape on salt,” Webster said. “We are going to evaluate our inventory of course because we don’t know how many more storms we may have. We can look at a track record and look at past years and see how we’ve done.”
The City of St. Albans has used 25 tons of salt so far this month. They have to estimate every year how much they’ll need and have it stocked by April.
“Last year was the first year that they really used any amount at all,” said St. Albans Mayor Scott James about the city’s salt reserves. “Last year wasn’t real bad but prior to last year we didn’t have a lot of snow and you know as we kept ordering it just kept piling up. So we have plenty on hand and then at the end of this winter season he’ll have to order more for next year.”
Almost every city is facing the expense of overtime especially with the most recent winter weather happening on a weekend and holiday. But leaders in both cities say it is built into the budget.
“There’s been a fair amount of overtime,” James said. “But you know that is part of it. You know we can’t control the weather.”