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ODOT officials prepare for winter storm, hundreds of thousands of pounds of salt on hand

The Ohio Department of Transportation says, as of Monday, they have already used 22,000 tons of salt and 498,000 gallons of de-icer with over 700,000 tons ready.

NORTHWOOD, Ohio —     

The Ohio Department of Transportation said as of Monday, crews around the state have already used over 22,000 tons of salt, over 498,000 gallons of liquid de-icer and they have 753,000 tons of salt on hand for winter storms.

ODOT said they have already driven to the moon and back just this winter as they prepare to tackle the storms predicted to come in over Thursday night.

The department's Public Information Officer for District II, Kelsie Hoagland, said they have called in their year-round and seasonal staff to tackle the first storm of the season.

“Our guys will be in the garage and ready to go, so if our temperatures start falling a little bit sooner than expected, they will be able to react when nature calls," said Hoagland.

In regard to how early they can start treating roads, she said they cannot start treating them with brine yet since the rain would wash it away and winds would complicate things by blowing snow back onto roadways that are already treated.

She said they have to wait until the snow fully hits the ground because the combination of rain and dropping temperature creates a good situation for ice to form, which she said forms on bridges first.

"We actually have a lot of caution signs that are near our bridges in the metropolitan, Toledo area that say, 'Bridges Ice Before Roadway' or 'Watch Out. Ice On Bridges', things like that," she said. "This is just because of the way wind travels around bridges. It is the first thing to be icy."

It can be especially dangerous if it is black ice, which in many cases looks like shimmery pavement. She said being able to cover as much areas as they can once the storm hits is a part of their plan.

"The action plan at this point is to just make as many passes through areas as possible, both with plows down, if that's what the amount calls for, but also applying that rock salt just to make sure there is some sort of material to react on the roadway," said Hoagland.

ODOT wants to remind drivers to give space to plows and trucks while they treat the roads as well as ask drivers to be patient, leave earlier and drive slower if they do have to drive.

They said they will start to get their trucks ready with salt and materials by noon Thursday.

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