“We have 610,000 tons of salt ready to go in our salt barns and we are well stocked for the winter,” Bruning said. “Storms like what is predicted for (today) are challenging because when we pre-treat the roadways, the rain falls and washes the treatment off, so we have to stay up with the storm and treat the roads as the snow and ice falls.
“This type of storm with the rain we like to call a ‘salt eater.’”
Bruning said ODOT is alerting drivers to get an early start to their destination when the winter weather moves in in order to allow plenty of time to navigate tough driving conditions and to also check the agency's travel portal at OHGO.com in order to get road conditions.
“We have cameras across the state and the Miami Valley and encourage people to use the portal so they can see road conditions before they leave their house,” he said.
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AAA’s Emergency Roadside Service Team is also preparing for cold-weather emergency calls. Last winter, AAA’s Roadside Rescue team assisted nearly 113,000 stranded members in Ohio.
Kara Hitchens, AAA senior specialist for public and government affairs, said it is recommended that motorists have their cars checked out for winter driving, as preventative maintenance can help avoid more costly and inconvenient repairs later in the season.
Jon Bucher, manager at the AAA Tire and Auto Center in Beavercreek, said motorists need to make sure their tires, battery, brakes and coolant are checked to help get them ready to drive in bad weather.
“People should make sure that they also have a good safety kit packed in their car with water, food for them and their pet if they travel with one,” Bucher said.
Vrydaghs said the weather heading into the weekend will continue to be a wintry mix, especially on Friday when temperatures will be below freezing. Temperatures by late morning will climb and transition back to rain with scattered showers during the day. Snow showers are possible towards evening with the chance for light accumulation. Highs for the day peak in the upper 30s.
“Saturday temperatures could climb to the upper 20s with sunshine and scattered clouds as highs reach in the low 40s,” she said. “There could be a few light showers or flurries by nighttime. Early Sunday, a few passing flurries will be expected with highs reaching the upper 30s.”
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AAA offers the following winter driving tips:
• Turn off cruise control
• Put down the phone
• Move over when crews are coming
• Remove snow/ice from the hood, roof, truck, lights, windows and mirrors
• Accelerate gently
• Avoid slamming on the brakes