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County plow crews out in force during rush-hour storm

ST. JOSEPH COUNT, Ind. – As a winter storm swept through St. Joseph County Friday afternoon, the drive home became hazardous.  But, it wasn’t because the plows were sitting idle.

Plow drivers with the St. Joseph County Highway Department started hooking up their large plow blades to their trucks early in the afternoon.

“They can handle the heavier snow a lot better,” explained John Stevens, the Garage Supervisor at the highway department garage on Riverside Drive.  “Better to get them on now, than to put them on later.”

Plows were out in force all over the county, but the roads where still icy and slick.  Stevens explained that keeping the roads clear on Friday was complicated by snow from earlier in the week that was still stuck on the streets.

“If the roads are dry and clean we can pre-treat the roads, but the roads have to be dry,” Stevens explained.  “Such is not the case today, so all we can do is make sure our equipment’s ready.”

Another complication, Stevens explained, was that the storm hit hardest during “rush hour” and traffic was heavy.  But, the crews were thankful that the storm hit on a Friday and would allow them to clear the roads over the weekend.

“We’re already set to come in tomorrow morning, the night-shift is coming in tonight,” Stevens explained.  “We’re going to be here in the morning to handle what comes our way.”

Weather permitting, Stevens estimated that crews would have most roads in the county would be clear by the end of the day on Saturday.

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