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South Bend is gearing up for Winter Weather

From city streets, to local schools - everyone is gearing up for the cold and snowy months ahead.

Steve Miskin who heads up winter preparations for the South Bend School District has been ready since Halloween. “October 31st we get all the plows on the trucks, ready to go. We start servicing the vehicles themselves and just get ready for it to come.”

Once the snow starts to fall - South Bend’s Public Works Director Eric Horvath says you have to have enough salt to last through the season.

“I think our typical amount is somewhere between 5 and 7 thousand tons of salt that we go through. So that’s quite a bit of salt.”

But the salt doesn’t always do the trick. Once temperatures drop to 10 degrees or below - salt is almost ineffective. In its place the city of south bend uses salt treated with calcium chloride to keep roads safe.

For Transpo, Dan Warmoth says ice is one of their biggest worries, “Slip hazards. That’s what we worry about the most. The lots, visitors here, stuff like that. So that off the sidewalks, the lots, stuff like that so no one is slipping and falling. That’s our main goal.”

To make sure people get to their destination safely it takes more than just salt when the rubber meets the roads. Dan Warmoth says good tires are critical, “We have the mechanics start going through checking all the tires, the tread depth. If they are close to being changed, we go ahead and change them. When a bus is fine, like a car, going down a main run but when they pull over to the curb that is where the slick spots are and that’s where they get stuck.”

To keep the ice and snow cleared, it takes heavy duty equipment to clean it all up.

General Mechanic Foreman Chad Block says South Bend Schools is well equipped, “We are running 13 pick-up trucks, we got 6 large dumps like you see on the city streets, sorry 3 of those, 3 contractor dumps, 2 front end loaders, and four of these tractors like this. These drive around all of the schools, doing the sidewalks for the schools.”

And once the snow hits, it’s all hands on deck! Eric Horvath says during bad snow storms, they will typically have about 60 trucks on the road.

As the city of South Bend, Transpo and South Bend Schools all brace for the winter ahead - Steve Miskin says it is important that we do our part as well.

Slow down. With the events lately with the tragedies that happened south of town. With the first snowfall of the year, you hear it from the police, you hear it from the officials, I’m just a regular guy. Everyone thinks that they can just stop like when the pavement is just wet but they cannot.

While everyone in South Bend gets ready for the cold and snowy months ahead, a "small city" inside of South Bend has their own lists to check before the winter season.

I talked with Landscape Services at Notre Dame to see how they prepare with over 8,500 students on campus. You can find that story by clicking on the link below.

Snowy grounds under the Golden Dome

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