By: Dylan Frazier
The winter in Hancock County up to this point has been mild. Not much snow has accumulated but that is about to change this weekend. It has been reported by WTVG in Toledo that we could see four inches of snow on Saturday, along with high winds. When there is snow like that, usually the roads are covered and need plowed.
Removing snow on the roads can be a very tedious and tough task. If not properly done, snowy roads can cause many accidents and hazardous conditions that make it hard to travel. Matt Stoffel, the Public Works Superintendent of Findlay, and the rest of the public works staff in Findlay help keep the roads clear.
When there is snow in the forecast, it is not something they are ready for just in one day, it takes Stoffel and his crew much longer than that.
“When snow is predicted, we start to prepare a few days in advance. We fuel the trucks and clean them,” said Stoffel. “We determine when the weather is coming in and we go by that but it depends because every storm is different.”
Another expenditure is the amount of salt the city has to ask for annually.
“Typically, we use anywhere from 3,500 tons to 5,000 of salt on a normal winter,” said Stoffel. “Sometimes, it’s better and sometimes it’s worse.
Dave Honse, the Street Supervisor in the city of Findlay, says plowing the roads is not an easy business. Most of his stress from the job can be contributed to the other drivers in Findlay. Honse said that is the worst part of his job.
“People think the biggest challenge for us would be the snow or the ice but it’s not, it’s the other drivers on the roads,” Honse said. “When we are out on the roads, we have to hug the lines to make sure we get the entire road. People try and pass us all the time and sometimes they get in the way of us doing our job, which is frustrating,”
Honse later added that if people’s cars get clipped by a plow, the other driver is responsible because all plows have strobe lights that serve as an alert to the other drivers.
Another issue the drivers face is narrow roads and roads that are near open areas of town, as it makes plowing the roads tougher. Sometimes, it makes the drivers incapable of doing their jobs. Honse said narrower roads are harder because usually people park on them and if they cannot finish plowing the road, then they cannot do their job.
“We try and communicate the community the best we can about driving on snowy or icy roads, most people listen but the people who get in accidents don’t, it is simple as that,” Honse said. “I really do love what I am doing and I think I can speak for the 33 employees we have, when I say we look forward to coming into work. It may be a thankless job and you work from 4:30 a.m. to sometimes 5:30 p.m. but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”