Beckley Public Works Dept. prepared for heavy snowfall

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As the region prepares for more snowfall, crews are prepared to clear the roads as much as needed in the coming days.

The City of Beckley Public Works Department gets to work on the streets at the first sign of snow sticking on the ground. Director Jerry Stump said he and a team of about 30 other people will be working in 12-hour shifts to make sure every inch of road they cover in the city will be safe for drivers as quickly as possible.

“We use the salt and cinder method,” said Stump. “And we have 10 trucks that we have out if everything’s running good. You know, sometimes you have breakdowns things like that. But, ultimately we have 10 trucks out. 520 streets we treat, which is probably a little over 100 miles of street.”

Stump said salt and cinder is the best combination of products when it comes to making roads as safe as possible during snowy conditions. The salt melts the ice and snow while the cinder creates more traction between the road and tire, so cars don’t start to slide. 

Some public works departments around the country use brine, a saltwater solution. However, Stump said he gave up on that method when the brine froze in the back of his truck.

“I mean, salt and cinder, I’ve been here for 45 years and that’s what works for us. We kind of tried the brine situation before, and seemed like we just didn’t have any luck with it. It seemed like it just froze on us,” said Stump.

With snow expected to start falling within the next 24 hours, Stump added the number one thing people can do to help his crews is to not park their cars on the street.

“I would say that it’s good if people don’t park on the street,” Stump explained. “If they have driveways, you know, try to move your vehicle off of the street. I know some places you can’t, but if you can get the vehicles off the street so we can get through.”

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