Plows and salt trucks ready for the storm - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Plows and salt trucks ready for the storm


Madison (WKOW) -- Tom McCann and Andrew Hanson took advantage of the mild temperatures and sunshine Thursday afternoon.

Getting a little ice fishing in during the calm before the storm.

"The good bite is before the storm, they always bite good before a big storm," Hanson says.

A few miles away at one of Madison Streets and Recycling Facilities, it was a different story.

City plow drivers were dumping upwards of seven tons of salt into their truck beds getting ready to attack a major storm. The third one already this season.

"I think this is going to be a never ending battle this winter. This is going to be a long one," says city plow driver Jack Knuvuhler.

30 trucks will be salting and plowing Madison's main streets over night.

Then by four in the morning Friday, the city will call on it's full arsenal. Around 170 machines clearing off all madison roads, which equals about 1,700 lane miles.

"It's like equivalent to plowing from Madison to Vegas," says Madison Streets Superintendent Al Schumacher.

During Tuesday's storm, the issue was the ice. Temperatures were under 15 degrees, so salt was ineffective.

Even with salt on their side this time around, the storm will be a challenge for these seasoned plow drivers.

"We're not talking about 3 to 4 inches of powdery snow. It's 7,8,9,10 inches of heavy snow. The more accumulating snow you have, The harder it is to push it off the roads," Shumacher says.

And even with a full fleet of machines working around the clock, the fast moving heavy snow could mean dangerous road conditions throughout one of the biggest travel days of the year.

"We never expect bare pavement. We just want to prevent an ice bond by applying the salt and plowing it off. We're just trying to keep the traffic moving.

We don't expect bare pavement. We'll get that after the storm," Schumacher says.

All 170 machines will be clearing Madison roads all day Friday and into Friday night.

They expect to have all Madison streets plowed by midnight Saturday.

Dane County officials say they will have 100 people and about 60 snow plows on county roads at midnight Friday. If conditions get worse, then those resources will be called in early.

For the latest road conditions, call 511.

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