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Plow drivers brace for lake effect snowstorm

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 5:42 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - “This is the calm before the storm,” said Sean Hennessey, assistant commissioner, New York State Department of Transportation.

Final preparations for the lake effect snowstorm were underway Wednesday at the state DOT facility in the town of Pamelia.

Plow trucks are packed with winter storm essentials

“We have 120 trucks...ready to go. We got roughly 300 employees, operators ready to jump in the truck and get to rolling,” said Hennessey.

He says the number of plow drivers has increased since the state started heavily recruiting back in November, declaring there won’t be any lapse in service.

“You know we could always use additional employees but right now we are solid,” said Hennessey.

The region has seen below average snowfall this season. Lewis County Highway Superintendent Tim Hunt says that can actually make things challenging for plow drivers.

“We don’t have snowbanks established yet, so when that visibility gets low, when there is a snow bank, we can feel it with the wing of the plow. We don’t have anything to feel the sides of the roads with yet,” he said.

In those areas of low visibility, Hunt says driver safety is their number one priority, asking those who are on the roadway to take their time and give plow drivers plenty of room.

“They should slow right down and get as far over to the right, even if they have to stop and get over because the plow has to cover the center line of the road,” he said.

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