DPW crews already preparing for snow

Posted at 10:41 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 00:06:54-05

Extreme cold ahead of a snow storm has officials keeping a close watch on roads and highways.  The snow isn't here yet, but the cold has drivers looking out for slick spots.

"It depends on the road," said Sarah Yee, Bristol.

That's why Sarah Yee plans to wait out the snow storm indoors. 

"We have everything we need to do our Christmas cookies and stay inside and stay warm," explained Yee.

Anne Joyce has a plan to avoid the roads if things get dicey.

"I'm going to drive to work near Chicago and leave early in the afternoon," said Anne Joyce, Mt. Pleasant.

The Village of Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County has already declared a snow emergency. The Department of Public Works Director says crews will treat roads differently because of the low temperatures.

"Salt has an activation temperature of above 15 degrees so anytime it's colder than that we need to add a de-icing material.  We use a magnesium chloride mixture that we actually add to the salt as it's applied into the ground," explained John Steinbrink, Village of Pleasant Prairie DPW.

DPW will begin pre-treating roads in Pleasant Prairie early Friday.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation cautions drivers to be alert ahead of the snow fall.

"With these extremely cold temperatures and these high winds it really does some drifting snow and then there's some melting of the snow on roadways and that is a huge factor for black ice," said Gina Paige, Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

To avoid slippery conditions, WISDOT suggests slowing down on bridges and overpasses and to steer clear of areas without direct sunlight.

"If you don't have to travel don't travel," said Paige.