Snow plow crews clear roads with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place

Snow removal looked a little different in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Snow plow
Snow plow(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 7:38 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Crews started pretreating roads on Tuesday night ahead of Wednesday’s snow.

This year, they also have to take into account COVID-19 safety measures while out on the roads.

Director of Communications for the City of Harrisonburg, Michael Parks, said measures are in place to limit interaction.

“We’re limiting one person to each vehicle. We are also staggering our shifts to make sure that we don’t have everyone meeting at one location as we might have in the past,” Parks said.

Vehicles are also being sanitized between use.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), had about 200 pieces of equipment on the road Wednesday and has about 20,000 tons of salt on hand.

Resident Engineer for VDOT, Don Komara, said VDOT crews are also undergoing safety measures, but at the end of the day they need to be on the roads.

“You can’t push snow virtually, so our guys are out there working really hard,” Komara said.

“We have to be out working today, COVID or not. We have to continue our essential services,” Parks said.

Snow crews will continue to be on the roads in the coming days.

“We’re out full force right now. We’ve been out all morning and we’ll be here until it ends,” Komara said.

The first priority is emergency routes, including pathways to emergency service locations. The secondary roads come next.

Parks and Komara ask for everyone to stay home and off the roads if you can.

“I tell ya, if you don’t have to travel, you know, go deep in that cupboard. There’s a can of soup that you bought three years ago, heat that up. I’m sure it’ll be good,” Komara said.

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