Plows tend to main routes first, prep to focus on side streets - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Plows tend to main routes first, prep to focus on side streets

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio- The season's first major storm means around the clock shifts for plows and salt trucks.

The National Weather Service reports 10.7 inches of snow fell at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. An estimated 8 inches coated cities including Boardman and Canfield.

Before the storm arrived, the Ohio Department of Transportation released its fleet of about two dozen plows to pre-treat and then repeat clearing on routes once large flakes started to fall Wednesday afternoon.

At times, trucks use laser temperatures probes to better determine how much roads need treated.

"What that actually does is control our spread rates on the roads, so as the snow got heavier, it changed consistencies, our senors in the truck picked that up and changed the spread of the salt," Brent Kovacs said, ODOT District 4 spokesperson.

Throughout a typical Ohio winter, Kovacs says ODOT plow use about 100,000 tons of salt on average. ODOT saved about $10 million statewide in 2011 thanks to a mild winter and lower prices, so supplies are not a concern going into 2013.

Like other counties, Trumbull County plows plan to clear secondary routes by tonight.

Routes 11, 170 and 30 were wet in Columbiana County at 6 a.m., but drifting snow prompted officials to advise motorists use caution on Route 7. In Mercer County, PENNDOT reported brine and salt helped to clear all four-lane roads for drivers.

Several side streets were left looking untouched in Youngstown as the focus was first getting the main streets ready for the morning rush.

Those charged with stocking shelves with snack favorites says the snow won't stop their deliveries.

"We're out here 365 days a year pretty much," John Kostellnak said, Little Debbie delivery driver. "Just makes this all the more fun."

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