County crews prepare for weekend storm

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - Crews across Metro Detroit are preparing for this weekend's massive storms, and clean up strategies differ across the tri-county area.

Macomb County's salt dome can hold about 10,000 tons of salt, but more than half of it has already been used for previous storms. Even more impressive are the men and women who help move this salt so the roads stay safe.

"We've gone through quite a bit of salt already," said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, "And we know the drivers are pretty tired because they just went through days of working those 16-hour shifts, sleeping for 8, coming back for 16 more."

There is no rest for the weary when it comes to clearing out the white stuff, but Hackel knows his crews will need to rest up before preparing for this weekend's winter onslaught.

"Here in Macomb County, what we try to do is get them up even before the actual snow hits so that people know they're prepared," said Hackel, "And they start to see the trouble spots."

"Came in Tuesday night at midnight, went home yesterday at 4 and back in at midnight." said Wayne County equipment operator David Terry, who would have rather watched the ball drop for the new year. But Wayne County's crews are ringing in 2014 on the streets, ready for anything nature throws their way.

"Yeah, it's hard on the equipment," said Terry, "Freezing the salt in the box, and you got to get them out with water to clean them out."

"It has been nonstop." said Cindy Dingell with Wayne County Department of Public Services, "We've been on the go since midnight. We've sent our crews home for a couple hours last night to rest up, but they've been out since midnight clearing the roads, putting salt on them, we're getting prep for the storm that's coming in Saturday or Sunday."

"And this will be the first night that we've actually sent our crews home to get some rest for the night." said Oakland County Road Commission spokesperson Craig Bryson, "And we'll be in at 6 a.m. Saturday morning and put in a good day tomorrow, send the troops home to get some rest. Come back in Saturday night and start all over again."

Call it the calm before the storm. A small dose of respite before life gets unbelievably busy for the guys in the big trucks.

"Drive slow, stay behind us." said Terry, "Don't go out if you don't have to."

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