BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Jerry Stump has worked for the city of Beckley for decades, and he said he has become quite familiar with handling winter storms.
Stump said he even drove a snow plow for a time, and because of his experience, he said he has a better understanding of what he is asking of his men when the plows hit the road.
In the most recent snowfall, Stump said he already had plows on the roads to deal with the freezing rain.
“We have a mixture of salt and cinders that we put out to melt the ice and also give you a little bit of traction,” said Stump,
Stump and the department of public works have ten trucks, responsible for 520 streets, making up around 114 miles. He said these can be anything from backroads to major routes.
“It’s a dawning task really, a lot of people don’t think we have a lot of dead ends, which take longer to get into and get out of,” said Stump.
Stump said as a plow driver, dealing with snow is less of a problem than dealing with ice. He said it can be hard to tell whether the road is covered with ice or just one patch
Stump said there is one way the public can help make their job easier.
“If the folks would get their cars off of the street if they can, park in their driveways, because a lot of times that inhibits us from being able to get through and navigate through the streets,” said Stump
Stump said as the first snow flake falls, his plows are on the roads. He said they will stay there through all hours of the night to make sure the roads are safe when the sun comes up.
“It’s a tough, it’s a tough task and it takes its toll on both the guys and the equipment,” said Stump