As more snowfall blankets the area and temperatures begin to plummet, Wayne County road crews have been doing their best to stay ahead of the weather.
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill warning for southeast Michigan effective until 7 a.m. Wednesday. Strong winds will "bring the coldest air to affect Southeast Michigan in perhaps 20 years, with bitterly cold conditions persisting into Tuesday night,” the NWS said.
It’s been the biggest factor for road crews, Cindy Dingell, deputy chief operating officer at Wayne County Public Services, said. “We seem to get through fine but the wind keeps blowing snow back onto the roads."
Dingell said during the day, the county has about 120 trucks on the roads.
“Right now, they’re focusing on high traffic areas, such as Eureka, Fort, Jefferson, Sibley, Van Horn, King and other primary roads in the Downriver area,” she said.
Smaller pickup trucks with attached plows are also out to help with residential streets.
Wayne County asks home and business owners to be mindful of state laws regarding snow removal.
“I would advise the public to be very careful. When you have this heavy snow, people tend to push it from their driveway and into the roadway,” she said. “When a vehicle doesn’t see a pile of snow, it could hit it and then flip."
According to Public 300 of 1949, it is illegal to shovel or plow snow and ice onto any road or highway.
State law also prohibits depositing of snow on a road or shoulder if it blocks motorists’ views of traffic and signage.
“By the time we’re done plowing state roads, we’ve cleared 4,500 lane-miles in one round of plowing,” Dingell said. “Our men and women have been at it since 4 a.m. Sunday morning.”
Each truck has a round of 40-50 miles before it circles back for gas or maintenance.
To stay ahead of the weather, Dingell recommends taking advantage of the latest weather application, Compass, which is compatible with smart phones and tablet devices.
“If you’re stranded, the app will pick up your location and give you a list of the nearest police departments, gas stations, hospitals and towing services,” Dingell said.
In addition, the app allows users to track the routes of snowplow trucks.
“By clicking on each truck, you can see the route that they’ve covered, where they started and where they’ll end up," she said.
Dingell said several of the trucks also have dashboard cameras to give users a virtual ride-a-long.
The trucks on the road will appear on your smartphone in either blue or green. The green colored truck icons mean the truck is outfitted with a live camera so people can see from a driver’s point-of-view.
To download the app for free go to compass.Waynecounty.com on your smartphone or tablet.