Washington Twp. plow crews brace for next winter storm system

After approximately 700 tons of road salt were used to battle the nine inches of snow that fell in Washington Twp. last weekend, township road crews are already preparing for the next possible round of winter weather this weekend.

"We're preparing,” said Washington Twp. Public Works Director Mark Wanamaker.  "Winters are unpredictable."

Explore>> Another winter storm? Miami Valley could see accumulating snow, freezing rain

The energy for the upcoming storm system is still out in the Pacific Ocean, more than 3,000 miles away, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Once the energy moves into the United States and develops, the Storm Center 7 team will be able to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Wanamaker has worked for Washington Twp. for 42 years and for the last 25 of those years he’s led Public Works for the township.  He said this past storm created quite a challenge for plow drivers.

"This one was a pesky one,” Wanamaker said.  "It came and dumped quite a bit of snow."

With eyes looking toward the weekend storm, Wanamaker said his workers will be ready should winter weather hit the area. In fact, the township received a fresh shipment of salt Tuesday afternoon.

Right now, it looks like another area of low pressure will develop and move into the Miami Valley this weekend. If this storm takes a northerly track, it could bring the potential for warmer air further north, possibly bringing rain, snow, freezing rain and sleet.

As other agencies, like the Ohio Department of Transportation, may pre-treat in advance of any snow or ice that may move in, Wanamaker said those processes are too costly and he relies on the systems they have in place.

"It's not beneficial for us to spend all the money on the equipment necessary,” Wanamaker said. "It's a very expensive endeavor to get into."

Washington Twp. crews focus on treating the main roads and any hills in the area and then focuses on plowing neighborhoods.

About the Author