Thousands of Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews were out on highways putting down salt to keep us safe Wednesday morning.
Overnight roads were covered in snow with ice underneath as flakes were still coming down heavily.
“We had a really intense band of snow that came through very early this morning. So one or two o’clock, three o’clock this morning,” said Matt Bruning, press secretary for ODOT.
Road conditions caused multiple semi trucks to slide off roads and create problems on the highways, but those snowflakes switched to rain quickly.
“That warmer air moved in and really helped to change things over to rain,” Bruning said.
This worked well for ODOT crews.
“These warmer temperatures allowed our material, the salt, the brine that we put down to be more effective,” Bruning said.
The rain helps to melt the snow as well, but it also washes the salt away, so you will see ODOT trucks throughout the day putting down more.
“When you get a storm that brings a lot of rain, we call it a salt burner, because we’re using a lot of salt,” Bruning said.
The storm turned out completely different than the last major storm right before Christmas, even though ODOT took the same precautions.
“We were talking about sub zero temperatures, wind chills, well, well below zero, very high winds, and that had a fine, powdery snow,” Bruning said.
Temperatures Wednesday were nowhere near as cold as then, and with less people on the roads it made it much easier for crews to work than during the Christmas blizzard.
“That’s one of the highest travel periods of the entire year,” Bruning said.
The storm hit during early morning hours and there were a lot fewer people on the road, which means crews were able to get ahead of it really quickly.