INDOT, City Crews Prepare For Snowfall

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

INDOT, City Crews Prepare For Snowfall

December 13, 2013 Updated Dec 13, 2013 at 10:00 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – A spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) says trucks have been out preparing roads, laying salt brine since noon, and began patrolling the roadways at 7 p.m. Friday.

Mary Foster with Fort Wayne INDOT says as soon as the snow begins falling, crews will be rotating in 12 hr. shifts to ensure the roads are as safe as possible. INDOT covers 17 counties in northeast Indiana, and are split up into 144 snow routes with at least one truck for every route.

"If you don't have to be out, don't go out,” advised Foster. “And if you do have to be out, the key is to slow down and just take it easy, accelerate slowly, allow extra room between your vehicle and vehicle in front of you, and break early when you think you need to stop or turn."

The City of Fort Wayne is also doing their part to clear the roads. Frank Suarez with Fort Wayne Public Works & Utilities says city crews cover 1,200 mi. of road around the city with at least two trucks for each of their 18 routes.

While it’s snowing, city trucks will address the major thoroughfares first, in order to keep them clear for emergency vehicles, and then address side streets when the snow has stopped.

Both Foster and Suarez say when it comes to snow storms and clearing the roads, people need to practice patience.

"I think it's important for people to remember that our vehicles are not emergency vehicles. They get stuck in traffic just like we do, they have to go slow just like we do, and they're stopping at stop lights just like we would. So it really slows them down when there's a lot of traffic out."

If you must be on the roads and you encounter a plow or salt truck, street officials recommend you stay far behind the truck in order to give them space to work. If you cannot see their rear view mirrors, they cannot see you.

INDOT says they have their own radar and monitoring systems to keep an eye on the weather, and want to assure people that they won't call off the trucks until all the roads and clear and safe.

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