Florence crews ready equipment for potential winter weather

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FLORENCE, Ala. – The threat of ice and snow has state, county, and city road departments mobilizing their assets. One city in northwest Alabama has added to their equipment list to better serve drivers in case winter weather does strike.

Florence Street Department employees took advantage of Monday’s more seasonable weather to get prepared for the overnight change. They used a front end loader to fill spreader trucks with salt.

“We like to be prepared just in case. It’s easier and we can treat faster,” explained David Koonce the director of the Florence Street Department.

The storage bin of salt at the street department has not seen a lot of action lately. It’s a valuable commodity when it comes to treating roads in the winter.

“It’s hard to get it here, unlike it would be in the northern part, but we have some when we need it,” said Koonce.

This is one of the new tools the street department can deploy. Mounted on a four-wheel-drive truck they can treat spots which the larger trucks may not be able to get to.

“We have a lot of little slick spots that these big trucks will be the first ones to run off the road,” stated Koonce. “It’s very common for us to have a truck slide off the road when the event starts.”

Even the street department drivers, with all of their salt and sand, face the same hazards other drivers confront with slick roads.

The Florence Street Department will take their cues from police overnight. If roads deteriorate, street department employees will be called into action to begin treating problem areas.

Workers will focus efforts on emergency routes and bridges when first deployed. Once those problem areas have been addressed, they can begin treating secondary routes.

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