VTrans responds to first big snowstorm of 2019

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The first major snowstorm of 2019 moved into the region Wednesday.

With that snow and ice on the way, VTrans crews were out early on the roads to make them as safe as possible.

Early Wednesday morning, our Connor Cyrus rode along with a VTrans truck to find out about how crews pretreat the roads, something they do during rainstorms or days when they are expecting bad weather.

Officials say road salt works best when they have temperatures in the 20s and 30s. Anything colder than that and they have to add other mixtures to it to keep the roads safe.

"When people don't see snowfall and they see our trucks going really slow, there are reasons behind that, and most of the time it's because we are trying to apply material and our material discharge comes from beneath the truck and you can't see it coming from behind the truck anymore," said David Blackmore of VTrans.

One of the challenges with storms like this is that it is happening over several days. That means VTrans has to make sure their trucks are on the road constantly to make sure all the roads get the needed attention.

They say they have core hours between 3 a.m. and 8 p.m. when they have the most trucks on the road.

They say each driver gets a route and those routes are between 14 to 21 miles long. On days when bad weather is happening or expected, it could take them hours to complete their stretch.

"A lot of times our customers or folks out there will ask, 'Well gee, I haven't seen a truck in a long time.' It takes sometimes four hours to get around a couple of times here. So, it's not like you are going to see that truck going up and down the road, it has a lot of area to cover," said Blackmore.

Blackmore wants to remind people to drive like it's winter. Even if you don't see snow, there could still be black ice and other things you are not aware of.

And if you are driving behind a plow and experience a whiteout, they say do not stop your car. He says be aware of your surroundings and slow down.