Danville, VA - With winter weather moving in late Thursday, the city of Danville is taking precautions to ensure roads stay as clear as possible.
According to Phil Hysell with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, the weight of the heavy snow likely will bring down power lines, causing power outages. "Winds will be 10 to 15 mph, with gusts of 20 to 25 mph."
Danville Public Works Department crews will begin mounting plows and salt spreaders to its fleet of 22 trucks when they arrive to work Thursday morning. The department also has three tankers filled with brine, but the brine may not be of use in this storm event, said Public Works Director Rick Drazenovich.
"The problem is the roads are wet now and there is a 100 percent chance of rain Thursday morning," Drazenovich said. "If we put it (brine) down and heavy rain precedes the snow, it is going to wash it away."
Brine is a mixture of water and salt. The water in the brine evaporates, leaving the salt behind on the road. The salt breaks the bond between the snow and the roadway, and it therefore helps prevent the snow from freezing onto roads and bridges.
Drazenovich said the plows generally encounter little difficulty in scraping heavy, wet snow from the roadways, depending on temperatures. Temperatures on Friday are forecast to reach the upper 30s to low 40s, which should be warm enough to prevent snow from bonding to the road surface.
Residents and visitors are reminded that snow and ice removal is accomplished on a priority basis. The top priority is main thoroughfares and collector streets leading to various emergency facilities. Second priorities are routes that connect to primary routes and bus routes. Only after primary and secondary routes are cleared is work begun on residential streets.
If the snow event ends around midnight Thursday, Drazenovich said the crews would make a final pass overnight on the main thoroughfares, and then move into the secondary routes.
Crews could reach residential streets as early as mid-morning on Friday.