CIRCLEVILLE — Pickaway County crews have been out on 12-hour shifts since Sunday night dealing with the winter weather, something that will continue through this week.
Chris Mullins, Pickaway County Engineer, said doing the 12-hour on 12-hour off shifts gives drivers ample rest while staying on top of the snow.
“It puts nine drivers on our routes,” he said. “We’ve been doing way more 12-hour shifts than we’ve done in the past because of the frequency of the storms going through. For the snowplow operators, they’re getting adequate rest and it allows us to stay on top of the storm event so there’s not a break to where it becomes unmanageable. There’s snow on them [the roads], but they’re drivable and the public should have access to the roads.”
Mullins said the plan is to keep it up until Friday just to make sure that the roads are in as good of a condition as they can.
“We’ve got some more snow coming in Thursday, and Monday night, it rained on top of the snow we had so we had a layer of ice,” he said. “We had a light, fluffy snow Tuesday morning that drifted on the roads. We’ll be dealing with the drifting snow for a while.”
Mullins said the goal is to make streets passable when done so safely and to take care of the curves and intersections across the county. So while streets may have some cover, complete blacktop isn’t the goal.
“We don’t have the resources to make sure the roads are completely clear during the storm itself,” he said. “We try to make them drivable for residents to get in an out and for safety forces that are out there. The busier routes are a little more high priority than our secondary routes, but we’ll make sure that our curves and intersections will have better treatment for our drivers.”
While crews worked through those shifts, many businesses and organizations still made the decision to stay closed Tuesday and open late on Wednesday. Pickaway County Schools were either closed or in virtual session Tuesday and Wednesday following Monday’s holiday.
Mullins said conditions continued to improve through Tuesday morning and the sunshine was helpful in their efforts.
“The sun helps break up the snow and ice to make it easier to clean up,” he said.
Mullins said up until this month, things had been light this winter, much like last year.
“Last year, we didn’t have to buy a whole lot of new salt going into this year and through January, things were looking pretty good,” he said. “It looks like winter came here all in one month.”