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Waukesha County clears snowy roads quickly

Posted at 12:26 PM, Jan 23, 2019

WAUKESHA -- Before sunrise, many of the main thoroughfares in Waukesha County plowed were wide enough for one vehicle; sometimes two.

"We kept guys out there until 9:00 p.m.," Rick Gillis, Waukesha County Highway Patrol Supervisor said.

"We had a skeleton crew overnight of about five to seven trucks. Then the rest of the 53 trucks came back on the road at 3:00 a.m."

They continued throughout the morning but because of the on again, off again heavy snow in the morning, the school district called off classes in the morning.

"With less people out and about, less traffic and less people just on the roadways, it really helps our effort to get going," Hans Guderyon, Waukesha County Highway Patrol Supervisor said.

"We'll continue monitoring and everyone will work on clearing their section, getting it down to the pavement."

But snow is obviously nothing new to residents.

"It's Wisconsin," Paul Sobczak of Waukesha said. "It's going to happen. We've had a really mild winter so far so this isn't that much. Doesn't bother me."

Sobczak was on his way to work when Today's TMJ4 informed him he wouldn't have to go in today. He works as a cook at Horning Middle School.

But his day is going to be much different than the students who are off today.

"I'm not going out sledding, that's for sure," Sobczak said. "I'm going to sit my butt in a nice warm house. That's what I'm doing."

Others are using the snow as an opportunity to make an extra buck.

"Got to make everything count when you can," Nate Gawronski of Menomonee Falls said. "Can't do a normal 8:00 to 5:00 anymore. You have to do something on the side. So I don't mind waking up early. I don't mind shoveling. This is fun."

Gawronski was using his snow blower to clear the sidewalk near North and Madison in Waukesha, making quick work of the falling snow.

"It's easy, thankfully," Gawronski said. "Not a lot of wind blowing it all back into the spot you just cleared which is nice. It's light and fluffy so it makes it easy on the snow blower. We'll have to salt heavily though. Unfortunately, I think most of this will freeze over if it gets colder later. We don't want to come back here later to redo everything we've done already."

It's a similar problem facing the county. The pavement was showing before noon Wednesday but the moisture leftover from the plowed snow could cause for slick conditions for the evening commute.

"It's going to be pretty important to get as much off the roadway as we can before it freezes tonight," Guderyon said. "With the temperatures dropping, water will freeze. We call it freeze drying with the salt in it. That will help to sustain and keep the ice from forming back on it."