A winter weather event arrived on Monday, December 5th with the forecast predicting 1-3” over the course of the day. As morning traffic snarled, commuters wondered why they saw no snowplows and some perceived this as a lack preparation on the Town’s part. In reality, Colchester crews had been out salting the roads before the commute started. But the snow became heavier than predicted shortly after commute time started; roads became slick despite the salt, and then driver errors and resulting accidents caused traffic to come to a crawl, if not a full stop. It was, pardon the pun, a “perfect storm.”
Here are some facts about the Department of Public Works (DPW) and snow preparedness:
- DPW monitors winter weather reports closely throughout the day and evening and make their plans of attack according to the forecasts
- DPW crews strive to keep ahead of the weather whenever possible
- If traffic is backed up and you aren’t moving, our plows can’t get through any faster than the traffic allows
- DPW crews work long hours in winter and take road safety seriously!
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, sometimes Mother Nature wins. It’s just a winter fact of life in Vermont. Motorists can help avoid accidents by using good winter driving practices. Here are some tips to remember:
- Have snow tires installed…they make big difference in traction on snow
- Allow extra time for your commute; but even if you’re running late reduce your speed. Better to arrive at work late than at a hospital at on time.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Gentle on the gas is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids.
- Don’t try to power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Get some momentum before you reach a hill.
- As you approach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down slowly.
- For winter travel preparedness and more winter driving tips visit the AAA website: http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/