With the potential for a bit of winter weather over the next few weeks, Fayette County Engineer Steve Luebbe said Monday that crews are ready and salt levels are high.
“We’ve got plenty of material to start the winter season, both bins (salt bin and a bin with a mix that will be applied to the road) are full and we think we have plenty contracted to carry us through the season,” Luebbe said. “Every year can be different though and we prepare for a relatively severe winter, but always hope for milder and drier than average. This year’s price is just over $80 dollars per ton and we try to err on the side of caution, but if we overestimate we deal with the problem of salt storage for a year. It can be a nuisance for us, but obviously it’s a better situation than not having enough.”
According to weather.com, following a few days of cloudy weather and low temperatures, more precipitation could come Friday in the form of late showers into Saturday. High temperatures should remain around 35 degrees throughout the week with low temperatures ranging from 17 to 27 degrees until Friday where it is forecasted to rise to 44 degrees during the day before dropping back to 35 at night. This is projected to repeat Saturday with a high of 45 degrees and a low of 33 degrees and a chance for showers all day. This is currently expected to change to a rain and snow showers in the evening, becoming mostly cloudy late with winds blowing up to 15 miles per hour.
Following a low chance for rain/snow showers Sunday evening and temperatures expected between 30 and 40 degrees as the low and high, Monday and Tuesday should be even more wet. Currently, the forecast is expected rain/snow showers on Monday all day. This is also expected Tuesday according to weather.com, but should become cloudy late.
“There are four things that help to melt the snow and ice; higher temperatures, the sun which raises the temperature of the pavement, the salt which lowers the freezing point of the water, and traffic which generates heat as the tires contact the pavement,” Luebbe said. “Unfortunately we don’t have control over most of those things, and the one thing we can control — which is the amount of salt that gets put down — becomes ineffective as the temperature drops. It is a challenging situation for all of us, so I’d ask that the community bear with all the road crews, not just ours. It can be a difficult and frustrating season for everyone. I would also ask that the community slow down and always be thinking safety first. That way, hopefully, we all make it through to spring.”
Stay with the Record-Herald for coverage of winter weather in Fayette County all season long.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.