MASON COUNTY — Grocery store employees weren’t the only ones busy in anticipation of the snow on Tuesday night, so were personnel with the local West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) garage who were preparing for the worst.
Mason County DOH Supervisor Ernie Watterson said his garage has 15 trucks, including those with salt spreaders and snow plows to help keep the roads clear this winter. The local state garage also has three road graters at its disposal.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there was about 900 tons of salt on hand at the Mason County state garage of WVDOH, according to Watterson. There will also be 18 men working per shift through the snow event - that’s 12 hour shifts from 7 to 7.
Protocol dictates the state must take care of certain roads first - typically federal and state roads that see the most traffic. In Mason County, roads which are to be treated first (in no particular order) are U.S. 35, W.Va. 62, 2 and 87. Watterson said also on the list to treat are what are referred to as “feeder routes” like Sandhill Rd., Jerrys Run, Ashton-Upland Rd., and many more. Cities and towns have the jurisdiction and responsibility to keep small side streets in their corporation limits clear.
Watterson said his office tested all the equipment that will be used during this storm back in October to make sure it was in good working order. In addition to testing the equipment earlier this fall, drivers were sent on a trial run to areas which will be treated when snow hits this winter.
Of course, mother nature reserves the right to change her mind but as the sun sank on Tuesday night, anywhere from two to four inches of snow was predicted to fall in Mason County.