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Plow Drivers Prep Equipment, Roads Before Sunday Storm

Posted at: 02/08/2013 6:40 PM
Updated at: 02/08/2013 11:05 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

The Northland is preparing for heavy snowfall expected over the weekend. As it approaches, plow and maintenance crews are doing preparations of their own to keep drivers safe when the snow really starts to fall.

Eyewitness News rode along with Duluth plow driver Eric Johnson Friday morning. He said "if we don't keep the roads fairly wet, then the snow will pack onto them and will it will take twice as much material to get it safe again."

Johnson has been plowing for Duluth for two years, he said. He plows roads in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood in eight hour shifts. But come the late part of the weekend he said that shift length will double.

WDIO morning meteorologist Ben Dery said snowfall will start Sunday morning and dump between six and twelve inches of in the Duluth area, and there is potential for more to the west.

As plows cleared streets, most of the preparation work for the snow happened inside a maintenance garage in West Duluth. Friday morning, six of the city's 44 plows and graders were being fixed so they will be operational on Sunday.

Duluth maintenance manager, Kelly Fleissner, said "we have a big city and a pretty significant storm coming and we are rather lean when it comes to equipment and people to plow anyway, so we want to have it all out there."