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Local road crews say they're ready for the first snowfall of 2022

a yellow lift dumps salt into a plow truck
Tana Weingartner

Snow predictions for this week are fluctuating, but with dire scenes playing out around Washington, D.C., local transportation agencies are ready for whatever is coming.

Hamilton County Engineer Eric Beck says the salt trucks are full and the plows are hooked up and ready to go. Hilly areas will get a brine pre-treatment.

"Once the snow starts, we'll be out there with salt and calcium chloride," he says.

The COVID-19 surge could cause more problems than the snow itself.

"We're not currently experiencing any issues, but as you know, that can change on a daily basis."

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Nancy Wood says crews started pre-treating streets Tuesday.

"If it rains, we don't pre-treat because that would wash it away, but having the brine on the pavement leaves a powder coating of salt that sticks to the roadway surface," she explains. "Then when the snow does start falling, we already have a head start on treating and it definitely helps us when we're out plowing after that."

While road crews are ready, she says drivers need to be too, so make sure your car is winterized.

"Have things in the car like blankets, some food, chargers," she says. "It's always a good idea to just stay at home if you don't have to be out."

If you do have to drive, go slow and give plows space to work.

Agencies began looking for additional drivers in the fall.

Cincinnati said it plans to use enhanced data and analytics to improve its plowing.

“Staffing levels are always going to go up and down,” said Jarrod Bolden, superintendent of the city's Traffic and Road Operation in November. “We don’t have enough drivers for 3,300 lane miles to put a driver on every street, but we have enough drivers that our motto is that 24 hours after the last snow fall, we aim to have a passable lane on every city street.”

Newly installed Mayor Aftab Pureval says he's meeting Wednesday "with our city employees and city services to ensure that we are ready. I have every confidence that we are ready."

To find out when your street might be cleared in Cincinnati, use the Snow Plow Tracker. To report dangerous streets from snow and ice download the Fix It Cincy! mobile app.

Here is ODOT’s snow and ice information page.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.