Road crews put it in high gear to prepare for Mother nature's latest
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Freezing rain and slick conditions could equal a dangerous and messy commute for Michiana drivers! Right now city, state and county road crews are out in full effect trying to counteract what Mother nature has up her sleeve over the next couple of days.
ABC 57's Judi Lykowski spent the day talking to road crews about how they are tackling the unexpected and to people as they are bracing for what's to come.
Early Sunday afternoon the South Bend City garage was busy as plow truck after plow truck lined up to get loaded with a sand-salt mixture. The Bureau of Streets supervisor told our crew that he was way to busy to talk about their plan of action as he was coordinating efforts to prep the city roadways before the freezing rain hit the ground.
When our crews pulled up at St. Joseph County garage off of Cleveland Road and Riverside Drive it was sleeting. Tom Chelminiak the Assistant Supervisor of the Riverside District started to laugh as he said, "Oh my gosh, can you get any better?" as he referenced the light hail.
Chelminiak who has worked in the business for decades said, "We are going to try and get it down before more of this ice actually hits. There are five garages, usually 3 to 4 personnel at eac garage, so you have anywhere in-between 15 to 18 guys throughout the entire county."
He said the mixture they use consists of two buckets of sand with one bucket of salt. Chelminiak said, "Normally you pretreat the roads, but we are going to have rain coming in, so if we pretreat the roasds, the rain is just going to wash the salt mixture down."
Meanwhile many shoppers like Roy and nina Carter of Mishawaka were at Meijer on 331 prepping for the possible ice storm by getting salt and other necessities.
Nina said, "Milk, bread and eggs. We turned on the Weather Channel and saw it all coming this way and thought we better get out and get it."
INDOT says it's crews will also be working around the clock. Matt Deitchley the spokesperson for the INDOT LaPorte District said, "Our plow drivers will be working potentially morning, noon and night. If there is a winter storm we'll be out there to make sure everyone gets home safe."
The County crews out now will wrap up their shifts at 12:30AM. Chelminiak says the next crew comes on at 7AM. Chelminiak said they will handle that gap by hitting the areas that are mostly traveled as soon and the next shift comes on.