Snow plow drivers work around the clock - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Snow plow drivers work around the clock


MADISON (WKOW)-- Snow plows have been out since early Sunday morning, but the cold temps are making it difficult to clear the roads.

Plow drivers say the snow event is relatively minor, but since the ground and air temperatures are so cold the salt isn't working properly.  32 snow plows with the Madison Street Department will end their shifts at 11:00 p.m. Sunday. Another 32 drivers will take their place and work through the morning.

Most of the drivers will focus on the main streets and highways. Others will start working on residential neighborhoods with the snow accumulation reaching three inches. Their goal is to get roads as clear as possible before the early morning commute.

"Sometimes we put in a sixteen to twenty hour day. We do it all, all of us here," Madison plow driver Jeff Raffel says.

On a scale of one to ten, Raffel says Sunday's snow event is a four or a five. It's easy to plow, but the salting is more difficult than usual. Being the first major snowfall of the year Raffel has seen several spin outs and close calls during his shift.

"Either they're going too fast or too slow. When they go too slow it just ruins everything for everybody because people get antsy and go around them and that's when the accidents happen," Raffel says.

There were several accidents in the city of Madison Sunday, but most were relatively minor.

"You never know what the car in front of you or behind you is going to do. Give yourself a little more time to get there," Madison Street Superintendent Chris Kelley says.

Despite plow drivers working around the clock, road conditions are expected to be slippery Monday morning. Drivers are advised to add a few minutes to their morning commute. Drivers should also stay at least 200 feet behind snow plows, which is required by Wisconsin state law.

"You should just try to stay behind them and let them do their work," Kelley says.

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