As the days turn colder, Snohomish County’s Public Works crews are ready should winter storms hit this season.
The county has added four sander/plow combination trucks to its fleet since 2008, two of which are smaller units that will service neighborhood streets and parking lots at county facilities.
In addition, Snohomish County has 20,000 tons of winter sand stockpiled throughout the county as well as 17,000 gallons of already mixed liquid deicer, 38 tons of dry deicer for mixing and 200 tons of solid deicer and salt available. Steel and carbide plow bits are in stock if needed for severe conditions.
“We are prepared for tough weather this season and ready to keep roads cleared and safe for drivers,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “The additional trucks will benefit residential areas that are sometimes one of the last places to see a plow.”
During the December 2008 snowstorms, Snohomish County, more than 160 county employees put in 12-hour shifts around the clock during a three-week period, successfully plowing and de-icing more than 50,000 road miles, sometimes with snow four feet high. These efforts kept primary county roads and many secondary roads open with few – and short-lived – road closures.
The county also routinely de-ices roads prior to storm events, as it did last year, keeping drivers on standby when meteorological weather reports called for wintry weather.
“Residents also should prepare for bad weather by planning ahead to be as self-sufficient as possible,” Reardon said.
During a snowstorm event, unincorporated Snohomish County is divided into 12 zones that are actively managed to keep roads cleared. High-volume arterials and collector streets as well as rural area hills, curves and intersections are cleared before residential areas.
The county also contracts with several cities to provide snow and ice control on city streets.