After being caught off guard by the snow in recent history, the City of Richmond says it's prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings our way in Thursday night's storm.
Richmond's Department of Public Works has more than 150 employees ready to tackle this blast of winter weather.
DPW trucks are ready. The leaf removal fleet has been equipped with salt and sand spreaders and plows waiting to take on the more than fifty routes delineated across the city.
But the deluge of the last few days creates some challenges.
"It's difficult to put down any chemicals prior to the storm coming in," Deputy Director of Operations for Public Works Bobby Vincent says. "So if it was currently dry outside instead of raining, we'd be able to put down an application now in order to prevent things but we will have to wait a little bit closer to the actual storm event."
There is a game plan for this particular storm.
"Throughout the evening what we'll be doing is treating the snow as it falls with our sand-salt chemical," Vincent told us. "If we get three inches of snow, at that point we'll be dropping our blades on our plows."
There will be two shifts of people working the trucks. One set of 80 people coming in from 6pm to 6am in the height of the storm and another 80 people coming in at 6am for the morning rush hour. That's when dropping temperatures could cause some issues.
"If need be we can switch right over to strictly salt to help prevent any freezing on the roadways," Vincent maintained.
Since money is continually an issue at city hall, the mild winter might help when it comes to the budget that covers these services.
"The good thing is that this is the first event so we should be prepared to handle this one," Vincent added. "Depending upon the magnitude and how many other events, that might be a better question later on in the season but right now we're ready."
DPW will be tracking the trucks in-house. If you want an update on your roads or need to find out when the plows will be in your area, call 311.
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