State prepares for stormy weather | RecordCourier.com

State prepares for stormy weather

Staff Reports

WINTER DRIVING TIPS

■ Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors and lights prior to driving

■ Only travel in winter weather when absolutely necessary, and leave early to provide enough time to safely reach your destination

■ Slow down on winter roads- speed limits are based on road and weather conditions

■ Keep a safe distance from other vehicles

■ Watch carefully for snow removal equipment

■ Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, as they may be icy

■ Check before you go:

Tires

Brakes

Lights

Battery

Wipers

Defroster

Heater

Vehicle Fluid Levels

■ Carry with you:

Tire chains

Flashlight

Ice scraper

Snow shovel

First Aid supplies

Extra clothes/gloves

Blanket

Flares

Non-perishable food/water

As winter weather arrives in Western Nevada, the Nevada Department of Transportation is prepared to help keep winter roads clear.

The state begins annual winter preparations in August by readying more than 80 snow plows and other pieces of snow and ice equipment for use in snow removal across northwestern Nevada. Nearly 33,000 cubic yards of salt and sand and 260,000 gallons of salt brine have been stockpiled in the area, ready to be spread on winter roads for increased traction and safety. The sand is combined with salt and wetted with brine to create more dense sand that keeps roads ice-free at lower temperatures and will not as easily bounce off roadway surfaces. NDOT sand trucks calibrate the amount of salt and sand, spreading the mixture on roadways with extreme precision and efficiency.

“We also spray a liquid brine on the roads prior to specific types of storms,” NDOT District Engineer Mike Fuess explained. “The brine is a water solution of 23% salt that we produce in-house at a substantial cost savings. Sprayed in certain conditions before storms, the brine helps reduce how quickly the ice forms and sticks to the road.”

NDOT has approximately 150 permanent maintenance staff in northwestern Nevada. As storms move in, maintenance personnel closely monitor professional meteorological forecasts detailing wind, rain, snow, ice and other weather on state roads. Staff also utilize more than 30 Road Weather Information System meteorological stations located along northwestern Nevada roadways to provide detailed reports of current air and pavement temperature, as well as any moisture. The updated weather readings help pinpoint precise sections of roads needing brine, salt and sand or snow removal.

During major winter storms, crews work in 12-hour shifts, rotating personnel to provide 24 hour-a-day snow removal.

On average, more than 2,000 crashes occur statewide every year due to unsafe driving in snow, ice and other wet conditions, such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or failing to maintain a lane and overcorrecting. In winter weather, motorists are reminded to drive slowly for conditions and leave space between their vehicle and others. Wearing a seat belt and focusing on the road are other important driving tips for any type of weather.

Updated state road conditions, including winter road closures and incidents, are available by dialing “511” or logging on to nvroads.com before driving. Drivers can also view live traffic cameras and sign up for free traffic alerts for their state road commute. Winter driving safety tips are available at nevadadot.com/winter.