CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s been a long night for state highway workers manning the cab of a snowplow. Thursday’s snowfall started in the morning and continued into the night making for extended hours for drivers trying to clear the roads.
“This is their job and it’s what they do,” said Carrie Jones, Division of Highways Spokesperson. “I know the public would certainly like to see us do more, but we’re doing the best we can with the staff and equipment we have.”
The state Division of Highways has around 960 snowplows across the state and Jones said other than those which were down for maintenance, all of them were on the roads in the last 24 hours. Despite the effort, a lot of motorists Friday morning encountered slick conditions, even on the main roadways of the state. Jones said the temperatures were to blame.
“Anytime the temperature is 20 or below, you’re going to encounter refreezing and ice,” she said. “When you get into temperatures like that, that’s the temperature where salt stops being as effective.”
Crews were on the roadway ahead of the storm in some parts of the state pretreating with salt brine mixture. The brine isn’t used in all parts of the state, but Jones said it is an effective treatment when snow and ice are in the forecast and there was enough advanced warning Thursday to get the product going.
Jones added it may be another 24 hours before all side roads and secondary routes are treated since the priority is the main roadways in each snowstorm event.