EAST HARTFORD -- Put the rake down and get ready to grab the shovel.
We’re getting ready for winter weather in fall, and you might not be the only one preparing, from the state highways, to the local roads.
Tim Webb is the DPW Director in Ellington and they have a fleet of 10 plow trucks and a crew of 21 people.
“With today’s technology. We watch your weather radar. We see where the storm is and how fast it’s moving and we get ready to roll right then and there,” said Webb.
As a rural community, they are working with limited resources.
“We budget approximately 250,000 for materials,” he said.
They have some unique challenges like keeping dirt roads from turning to mud.
“That takes a different type of treatment. Just the basic sand and salt,” said Webb.
And it’s not just roads. They handle municipal lots and sidewalks too.
Did you know? Not all salt is created equal. The town’s massive salt stockpile is made of different chemicals. Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride. That’s what gives it a greenish color. It’s also brown because it’s infused with molasses, which helps it stick to the road.
To the state roads now, where it’s all about planning ahead.
“We’re out today pre-treating. We typically do that in advance if weather events. We pre-treat with a salt bribe solution which is basically salty water,” said Kevin Nursick, spokesperson for the CT DOT.
The DOT is armed with 694 plows and nine tow plows and they clear 26 feet of roadway in one pass.
The roads will be kept as safe as possible, the rest is up to you.
“The first several winter weather events of each season we see more spin outs and more crashes,” said Nursick. “We attribute that the fact that the motoring public has not adjusted mentally or psychologically if you will to that winter weather driving mindset.”
Best advice? Slow down.
Bridges and overpasses will freeze first. If you are staying put, remember most towns have ordinances that require you to clear your walks-ways within 24 hours after the snow stops. And if you can, shovel out around your mailboxes and fire hydrants.