CITY WORKERS PREPARE ROADS FOR WINTER STORM - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

CITY WORKERS PREPARE ROADS FOR WINTER STORM

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The typical goal of city workers is to have heavily traveled streets plowed within 16 hours of the last snowfall. And for less traveled neighborhood streets.. 24 hours. In spite of those efforts, however, there are still dangers you must be prepared for. Richard Borders is a Municipal Service Manager in charge of keeping roads safe. He says the extreme temperatures of the coming storm pose very unique challenges.

"With the frigid temperatures.. the de-icers, the road salt, and the enhanced road salt that we put down can become ineffective," said Borders.

That's because..

"Road salt is effective down to about 20 degrees. When it gets down to 20, we will spray calcium chloride onto the salt which will make it effective down to around zero. But the closer to zero it gets, the less effective the salt will be. And once it drops below zero it really has no effect."

Temperatures this low may even cause the plows to malfunction.

"It's very hard on the equipment. The plows become very brittle and they're subject to breaking."

Borders says the best advice is to simply stay at home. One Decatur grocery store proves homeowners are already stocking up their shelves.

"We've been out of carts," said Gary Keeney, a store manager for Kroger. "I mean, the cart flow has been pretty compromised for the last couple 3 hours."

What's selling the most?

"Milk, bread, eggs, juice, macaroni, comfort foods."

But Keeney says food is selling more than..

"Batteries, candles, firewood, blankets."

..All things to keep you warm in case your power goes out. But it's good to have both sets of items. City workers also want four-wheel drivers to know that their cars may take off better in snow and ice.. but they don't necessarily stop any better than traditional cars. They also said if the weather appears to be putting their plow drivers in danger.. they will take them off the roads.

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