(Today’s Northumberland file photo)
With winter weather upon us, Northumberland County is prepared to take on the challenges that come with the season.
The County’s Public Works operations team is geared up to tackle the weather head-on, so residents can safely travel when winter weather strikes. Over 30 dedicated operators are committed to providing 24/7 service across 450 kilometres (900kms of lanes) managed by the County throughout the year.
“Our dedicated operators maintain a continuous weather watch day and night,” states Director of Public Works Denise Marshall. “Our crews are ready to respond quickly and efficiently when snowfall is expected or when icing conditions are possible.”
The County reminds residents that winter weather can change quickly, and separate weather conditions can occur in different parts of the County. Motorists should adapt their driving habits in snowy or icy conditions, exercise patience, and stay vigilant when encountering County snow removal equipment.
“Preparations have been in full swing for several weeks, involving critical maintenance on trucks and anti-icing vehicles, as well as the stockpiling of salt and sand,” remarks Marshall. “Operations staff review weather reports four times a day to anticipate and address winter weather challenges. Road supervisors and patrollers are also out conducting thorough inspections day and night, monitoring road surface temperatures with electronic sensors and watching conditions to dispatch operators to where they are needed most.”
When winter storms are likely, operators will apply salt-brine solutions to roadways ahead of storms—a proactive measure to prevent snow and ice accumulation. Pre-wetting the salt enhances its effectiveness, allowing it to work faster and at lower temperatures.
To allow proper snow removal by operators, the County is reminding rural residents to be sure mailboxes are properly constructed and installed according to Canada Post guidelines. Incorrectly installed mailboxes could be damaged by snow being thrown by snowplows.
Everyone has a shared role when it comes to safe winter driving. Motorists should always adjust their driving for the road conditions, maintain extra stopping distance, and to watch for flashing lights on County road equipment to keep a safe distance.
Drive with care:
During the winter months, regardless of service levels, residents are being reminded that winter weather can result in hazardous driving conditions. If you must drive during bad weather remember to:
· Let friends and family know where and when you are travelling.
· Clear all snow and ice from your car before driving.
· Drive at a reduced speed in snowy conditions.
· Exercise patience and leave adequate space for other drivers.
· Keep a roadside emergency kit in your car, including items like a blanket, shovel, flashlight, snacks, and first aid supplies.
Shovel with care:
Under the highway traffic act, property owners are not permitted to deposit snow on to any travelled portion of the roadway. Residents are not permitted to leave any ridges or snow when it is pushed or blown to the other side. Ridges could freeze and become a hazard to drivers.
To ensure continued mail delivery, residents are requested to keep an area sufficiently clear for Canada Post staff to access mailboxes. It is essential that mailboxes are constructed and installed correctly for proper road snow removal.
For helpful driving tips and detailed information about the County’s winter snowplowing operations, please visit https:// www.northumberland.ca/en/living-here/snow-plowing.aspx.