DOH working to clear roads after snow storm - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

DOH working to clear roads after snow storm


Earlier today, we were contacted by a viewer, who said the road he lives off of, had yet to see any treatment from salt trucks or snow plows. A Mercer County resident says the road he lives off of has been icy since yesterday's storm, which made him wonder what was taking the Division of Highways so long to reach his neighborhood.

Sandlick Road juts off Highway 20 on the outskirts of Bluefield. Teddy Wolfe and his wife live just off of Sandlick. Wolfe was surprised that parts of Sandlick still seemed to be in bad shape nearly 24 hours after the snow fell. "We've been here 12 years, and never seen it go 5 or 6 hours, even in a deep snow. But, you know, in a snow like this, an inch and a half to two inches... it seemed totally ridiculous that that road wasn't treated yet.

Wolfe says he was coming home this morning when another car slid into a ditch. "As I was coming home, there was a car over the hill, right where you turn into our driveway. And I stopped to check on them, to make sure they had contacted 9-1-1 and whoever. The road was so slick, you almost couldn't stand up on it." 

After hearing from Wolfe, I paid a visit to the Division of Highways headquarters in Mercer County. Maintenance Engineer Joe Pack says their crews have been working non-stop since the snow hit. "They work a 12-hour shift, 7 AM to 7 PM. Then our night shift comes on and works 7 PM to 7 AM. So we have around the clock coverage on all of our roads."

Pack admits that it can take some time to reach the more rural areas, but says there's a reason for that. "A loaded snow plow normally travels between somewhere between 20-30 miles per hour. Total route mileage... each driver is probably looking at somewhere between 50-75 miles that they're responsible for."

Pack also says the DOH has the county broken up into 14 regions, with different drivers assigned to each region. And coincidentally, as I was leaving Mr. Wolfe's house, a snow plow drove by, scraping the road.

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