Salt Trucks, Snow Plows Work Around The Clock As Snow Hits Monday

With the snow coming early, will there be enough salt for the winter?

WWJ News
November 11, 2019 - 6:10 pm

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(WWJ) -- As metro Detroit received its first winter blast of the season on Monday, snow plows and salt trucks are out in full force across the area.

With the first heavy snow coming a little earlier than usual, will there be enough salt to treat the roadways? WWJ's Vickie Thomas found out that local road commissions shouldn't have to worry about supplies.

"For our customers, the Detroit Salt Company is ready to meet their winter needs," said George Davis, public affairs manager for the Detroit Salt Co. "We work all through the year to mine salt for the winter, so while everyone is enjoying their summer vacations, we’re getting ready for winter."

Davis says the company goes through "lots of tons" of salt.

"We have customers all around the Detroit area and out-of-state as well, and there’s different tonnages across the board. What they have asked us to provide, we try to provide for them," Davis said.

Craig Bryson with the Road Commission for Oakland County says Wednesday's heavy snow -- in some places at a rate of an inch an hour -- was a challenge, but they were prepared for it.

"When we get that kind of snow, it's impossible to keep the system clean," Bryson told WWJ. "The average salt truck run is about two hours, so if it's snowing an inch an hour, by the time the truck gets from one end of the route to the other, there's going to be about two inches of snow at the beginning of the route again."

Whitney Lewis, director of communications for the Department of Public Services for Wayne County, says their crews hit the roads at 2 a.m. Sunday, about two hours ahead of the snowfall. She says more than 100 trucks were out on 99 routes Monday.

"The roads are pretty wet. They're not frozen, so it's been pretty good to clear, and our trucks have been doing really, really well," Lewis said.

She said crews were expected to take a break to get some rest around 6 p.m. and head back out around midnight, when the snow is supposed to subside.

Legislation was passed earlier this year for the Michigan Department of Transportation to begin exploring the possibility of using a sugar beet juice mixture in lieu of salt on the roads. Experts say it's better for the environment and equipment used to keep the roads safe during the winter.

Several evening activities at local schools and churches were canceled Monday evening. Check the school closings list for the latest updates.

Know before you go! Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. >> LISTEN LIVE!