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Local and state road crews try to stay ahead of the winter storm

Ohio Department of Transportation salt truck
Ohio Department of Transportation

Local and state road crews are all hands on deck as they try to stay ahead of the ice and snow blanketing the state.

Several dozen road crews have been working around the clock in Columbus. The rain, sleet, and snow have caused havoc all over the area despite the National Weather Service warning of the winter storm earlier in the week.

Charles Newman, a representative for the City of Columbus Department of Public Service said all the crews are using a salt and brine mix that helps to melt the snow and ice that is on the ground, and he predicts it will take some time to treat side streets.

ODOT crews are treating roadways in Central Ohio that are now covered in ice.

About 200 ODOT crews are treating slick-covered roadways throughout Franklin and surrounding areas. Spokeswoman Brooke Ebersole explains that they’re facing challenges as the precipitation changes.

“Ice accumulated on the roadways very quickly. So the timing was really the largest challenge that we faced during this storm. Making sure that our crews were out there with their salt when it did turn to ice," said Ebersole.

Ebersole said because of a shortage of plow drivers, a normal route will take up to double the time to clear the main roads.

As the snow falls through the night, and the temperature drops into the teens, Ebersole said ODOT crews will be spreading beet juice and salt to prevent slick road conditions.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.