Road crews responded following quick snow

Published 10:50 am Thursday, January 8, 2015

The sudden snow squall that coated Ironton streets and caused a mini whiteout around lunchtime on Wednesday was supposed to have come earlier.

“We were watching for it and it was going to happen between 5:30 and 8:30 this morning,” Doug Cade, Lawrence County Engineer, said Wednesday.

No matter when what Cade did then was what he would have done at any time — call out the road crews.

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“Once the snow started covering them, we started treating them and getting them uncovered,” Cade said.

With 800 tons of salt stockpiled at the county garage along with 2,000 tons of grit to mix with the salt, there is no anticipation of running out of what takes away the snow and ice. The only problem is the below freezing temperatures that hit on Wednesday inhibit the salutary effect on the roads.

“Once you get below 20 degrees, it takes a lot more salt to melt that snow,” Cade said.

One pound of salt at 30 degrees can melt 46.3 pounds of ice but when it is zero degrees a pound of salt will only melt 3.7 pounds of ice.

“Putting salt on the roadway changes the chemical makeup of the snow,” he said.

County crews readied trucks for winter’s assault starting the first of November and they are kept in the garage, not out on projects.

“We were making sure everything is fitting good, making sure the salt spreaders were working properly,” Cade said. “By the middle of November all trucks are ready to go.