ODOT preps for winter weather, issues advice to drivers

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With the first snowfall of the winter season expected Monday, road crews are preparing for a storm on what could be one of the busiest travel days of the year.

All is quiet with the Ohio Department of Transportation’s teams at the moment, with the snow fall not expected to really begin until Monday evening and into Monday night.

ODOT said their crews will be ready to go first thing Monday morning.

ODOT spokesperson Brooke Ebersole said they are only expecting about 2-3 inches of snow in most parts of Columbus – not a major event, but one that is proving tricky for ODOT to prepare for.

Since the winter front is expected to bring rain before changing over to snow, ODOT cannot pretreat the roadways with brine ahead of time.

The good news, Ebersole said, is ODOT expects the pavement temperatures to be around 45 to 50 degrees, meaning snow accumulation and ice should not be much of a concern, unlike they would be later in the winter.

And with many Thanksgiving travelers still out on the roadways, it will be one of the busier travel days of the year. ODOT is reminding drivers that when they see a crew on the road to keep them safe by giving the crews room to work.

“Make sure you give them room to work,” Ebersole said. “If you can’t see their side mirrors, they cannot see you, so you want to make sure you’re giving them plenty of room to work. If they do have their plows dropped, if they’re pushing snow off the road, you need to make sure you stay back a couple hundred feet because they don’t want you to get hit by flying snow and I promise you, don’t want your car to get hit by flying snow.”

ODOT said because central Ohio didn’t see much snow last winter, this storm will almost be a refresher for a lot of drivers. ODOT recommends cars carry things like a blanket, phone charger, and water, and drivers need to clean snow off all windows, mirrors, and lights before hitting the road.

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