Snow plows work hard to clear snow covered roads.


December 14, 2013 Updated Dec 14, 2013 at 8:42 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind (21Alive)-- Several inches of snow fell in our viewing area in the past 24 hours.

This is the biggest snow fall Fort Wayne has had this year, and winter has not officially started.

Indiana Department of Transportation is constantly working around the clock to help clear roads and keep drivers safe.

In snowy conditions like this, INDOT has a specific plan that keeps snow removal running smoothly.

"Each person is assigned to a route and every route is about 35 to 40 miles, it varies because you've got the dead head time. So when they have a particular road or a particular segment of road, they keep hitting whether it's the north bound lane, they turn around and then they hit the south bound lane, or east and west. They keep going over it, applying salt, breaking any kind of snow pack, that’s their route, it’s like a loop, and they’re looping constantly,” said INDOT Communications Director Tony Mayo.

When the snow falls for a 24 hour period, there is always more snow and more roads to clear.

"A snow route takes about 2.5 hours, but if the conditions are that there is more wind, or there's ice, they have to go slower, and so you may not see a snow plow truck for two hours."

Even though there are 140 plows in our district it's important to be cautious when driving in snowy conditions because an accident can
take a single plow off its route slowing the clearing of the roads.

"We have big trucks, and they have reflective tags and we have flashing lights, they still run in to us. And so they are watching all the time in their rear views, in their side mirrors, who is not paying attention. So not only are they plowing the snow, salting the roads, they're watching out to see what the public is doing."

Being cautious also means to stay clear of a snow plow while it's in action. A plow can see what’s ahead of traffic better than the car behind it.

“Let the men and women plow drivers do their jobs. They've been out there going on to 12 hours with breaks when they come up to fuel, when they come to reload material. It's hard work to be in that plow for those hours and you're just on your watch the whole time so give them the space they need."

Drivers can be rest assured that INDOT works until the snow stops and the roads are clear.

When traveling in snowy conditions give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Make sure to have a full tank of gas in case traffic becomes stopped, and have your emergency blanket, food and water stored in the car.

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