As the Northeast United States begins to recover from a dangerous nor'easter that has dumped up to 30 inches of snow in some places over the past few days, the Georgia Department of Transportation is practicing and preparing for whatever Mother Nature has in store this winter in the South as part of National Winter Weather Preparedness Week.
As it always is this time of year, winter weather preparation is a top priority at Georgia DOT. Supplies are stockpiled, brine is ready and crews across the state have hit the roadways to assess routes and snow-removal capabilities.
The department has 386 snow removal units and 80 F-250 pick-ups that are ready to be deployed across the state at a moment's notice. Also, a well-thought-out emergency plan is in place to relocate district resources to the most needed areas during an event.
"GDOT continues to enhance its preparations for extreme winter weather to treat impacted interstates and highways before, during and after a snow or icing event," said Larry Barnes, GDOT's assistant state maintenance engineer. "Our number one goal is to treat the interstates and state routes and keep them safe and passable, especially for emergency vehicles."
In preparation for winter weather, GDOT has the following equipment, materials and staff readily available:
- More than 1,900 employees on call
- Capacity to store 885,500 gallons of brine
- Ability to produce 50,000 gallons of brine per hour
- 71,286 tons of gravel
- 56 road weather sensors
- 386 snow removal units
- 80 F-250 pick-ups with plows and spreaders
- More than 53,000 tons of salt to cover almost 40,000 lane miles
This year's winter season in Georgia is expected to have warmer-than-average temperatures and average precipitation according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Although predictions are for a mild winter, Georgia DOT is prepared should the forecast change anywhere in the state.
During winter weather events, the department urges motorists to buckle up, use caution, minimize unnecessary travel and reduce travel speeds especially in the overnight hours to ensure that Georgia DOT crews have room to treat and clear roadways. For the most up-to-date travel information, visit www.511ga.org or call 511 to stay informed. CEG