The Times West Virginian

December 21, 2013

Winter starts warm, but crews ready for cold, snow, ice

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — When most people think of winter beginning, they imagine cold temperatures, snow and ice.

But as winter begins today, AccuWeather.com is forecasting that the temperatures could reach the 60s on the first day of the season.

No matter the temperature, though, city, county and state workers are gearing up for the days to come.

Ted Nice, street and water superintendent for the City of Mannington, said they have been preparing for winter for months.

“We’ve made sure everything is working correctly and fixed any loose parts,” he said.

Nice said during the months leading up to winter, he and other city employees come up with a list of what they need to get through the snow and ice to come.

“If we do have any problems, that’s why we have a backup plan to keep things going,” he said.

There have only been a few days recently when snow or ice has caused dangerous conditions. Nice said for Mannington it has been mild.

He said when it has been bad weather, the ice has been the worst.

“The ice is tough because when we start treating the roads, we have to go back because they have already been iced over,” Nice said.

If a lot of snow and ice do come this winter, Nice said they will be prepared. He said the first priority in treating the roads is clearing the hills.

“Once winter starts, we have several guys on call,” he said. “We’ll start treating the hills because they’re the steepest; then we’ll move on to the rest of city.”

Nice said it takes crews four to five hours to clear all the roads in the city.

Mannington is equipped with one cinder and plow truck, a tractor with a blade on it and a four-wheeler.

“We use the four-wheel-drive tractor for small alley ways,” Nice said. “Then we use the four-wheeler for bridges and sidewalks so people can walk on the sidewalk and not in the roads.”

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.Virginian.