Metro Detroit road crews urge drivers to stay off roads ahead of storm

Posted at 12:37 PM, Dec 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 12:37:10-05

A stack of new and ready to use snow plows sit neatly stacked inside the Oakland County Road Commission salt yard.

As today’s impending snow storm looms over southeast Michigan, the yard hums with the sound of diesel engines and heavy machinery.

Trucks are filling up with salt as plows get a second look.

"It's a beehive of activity everybody is trying to get everything as ready as possible,” said Craig Bryson with the Oakland Co. Road Commission.

He calls today's storm a two-fold challenge.
It’s expected to hit during peak travel time,”it's going to be snowing very hard, leading up to and during the rush hour."

And it will come down fast. “It takes two hours to clean a route. By the time you get from one end to the other you've already got an inch or two accumulated at the beginning of the route and you've got to go back and start again."

They have 106 routes across the county. Bryson says during snow storms like today they may take some trucks off less popular routes to add them to the highway routes. Although they own 135 trucks he says they will not add any more than 106 to the streets because they need plenty of back up trucks ready.

One of the drivers here, John McIntosh, gave Action News a tour inside his driver’s seat surrounded by an intricate tech system to plow, brine and salt all at the same time.

"I have the hoist cylinder, the plow cylinder, the under body plow."

There's a monitor on the dash, a joystick at his side and even a laser mounted on top of the truck.

"It keeps me in line with the white line on the road."

Bryson says no matter how much technology they have, Mother Nature calls the shots so they urge drivers to be patient as they hit the pavement.

"Take your time, if you don't have to drive tonight or tomorrow, don't."