ODOT prepares for every type of weather in the oncoming wintry blast

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It might be tiny ice pellets or it might be big fluffy flakes of snow, or it could be a significant snowfall or just a hard freeze with very low temperatures.

The weather the Ohio Valley is facing this week and this weekend won’t be a problem for ODOT.

They say they use different resources for different types of weather events. Their phone is already ringing, with people asking about the weather and which roads will be safe on what days.

Kim Mercer, ODOT executive professional, says people ask if they can get to the airport, if they should leave Friday, and when exactly the snow is going to start.

She tells people she’s watching the forecast just like they are,  but she always adds, “If you travel, please be careful.”

Belmont County ODOT Manager Dave Schafer says no two storms are exactly the same, and they approach them all differently.

He says this weekend’s weather event is supposed to fluctuate wildly from rain to snow to extreme cold.

For snow and ice, he says they have three different chemicals to choose from, to add to their salt or brine — but the biggest challenge is the extreme cold.

“When it gets down to the single digits, most chemicals don’t react at all,” Schafer noted. “So hopefully we’ll have things cleared before it gets to those temperatures.”

And Belmont County  ODOTTransportation Director Jerry Campbell admits he loves snow,.

“Winter is my favorite season,” he says with a smile. “But it comes with disadvantages. Don’t crowd the plow. Give our workers the time and space to work. Slow down. And in a snowstorm, if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out.”

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