Washoe County’s road crews are prepared for a series of winter storms predicted to hit the higher elevations of the Truckee Meadows over the next several days. And even with more than 1,000 miles of roads to clear when necessary, the County’s emergency snow service workers are ready.
“Our goal is to provide fiscally responsible emergency response services during any snow event,” said Dave Solaro, Director of Operations for Washoe County Community Services. “Our main job is to support the safety and mobility of our residents and their transportation system by plowing and treating county streets as efficiently as possible.”
The County’s Snow and Ice Plan for the winter lists Priority 1 roads, known as major highways, arterials and collector streets necessary for schools and hospitals, as the first to be plowed. Priority 2 roads, which are normal neighborhood streets, are next, followed by Priority 3 routes, such as cul-de-sacs and industrial streets. Information regarding individual streets can be found at http://wcgisweb.washoecounty.us/SnowPlow.
The County’s Road Division has a total available operator staff of 50 employees. Of those, six employees are dedicated to the Gerlach area, and all other staff work in the Truckee Meadows/Incline/Crystal Bay area and are deployed specific to each storm.
Although the upcoming storm systems are expected to be rain events in the valleys, higher altitudes may receive significant amounts of snow in the County. But despite the vast area County crews must cover, Solaro said there are many ways residents can help speed the snow and ice clearing process:
- When shoveling a driveway, please don’t dump the snow on the sidewalk or roadway, as this increases the snow that’s likely to become a berm in your driveway when a plow goes by.
- Be visible to snowplow operators by maintaining a safe distance behind them.
- Understand that roads will be plowed in accordance with the regional snow plan, which prioritizes which roads get cleared first based upon safety considerations.
- Keep all objects out of the road, gutters and right-of-way so they don’t become flying objects.
- Keep all drainage outlets open if possible to help control the melt-off from snow and ice as temperatures rise during the day.
- Keep vehicles and garbage cans off the streets so crews can plow the entire street.
For more information on the Washoe County Snow and Ice Plan, please visit www.washoecounty.us/pubworks/sno_ice_control.htmor call (775) 328-2180 with general questions.