A few weeks ago, the Division of Highway Services (DHS) held its annual Snow Summit and Winter Storm Exercise to ensure that the County is prepared for what weather forecasters are predicting will be a colder, snowier winter season. As part of its preparations, DHS has fully stocked salt barns to capacity with 85,000 tons of salt.
At the Snow Summit, officials from all County agencies with snow removal responsibilities assess their readiness for winter storms and discuss new initiatives. DHS Chief Keith Compton discussed the Road Weather Information System that consists of four pavement monitoring stations strategically placed in areas of the County that experience different microclimates. The stations monitor pavement temperature, humidity, dew point, ambient temperature and “grip factor.” When environmental conditions are conducive to producing black ice, ice or slippery conditions, the stations send DHS automatic text messages so it can take proactive measures to treat pavement.
During the all-day Winter Storm Exercise, DHS simulated its response to a six-inch snow storm, testing the preparedness of the County’s snow plans and fleet. Snow plow operators ran their routes on the nearly 5,000 lane miles of County-maintained roads.
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