HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) – New York State Department of Transportation is gearing up for the major winter storm that is set to hit the region Thursday and Friday.
The Public Information Specialist for the Southern Tier tells us they are prepared and ready to tackle this winter storm.
“We live in upstate New York, what’s the old cliche, it’s not our first rodeo,” Scott Cook said.
He says they have their work cut out for them and his strategy is to stay ahead of it. They are in constant contact with the National Weather service.
With an eye on the storm, Scott says crews are ready and will be out the roads.
“We have over 3400 staff operators and supervisors throughout the state, thousands of pieces of equipment just for moving snow,” Cook said.
He explains the process for keeping state highways such as Interstate 86 and State Route 13 safe. They plow the roads every hour.
“Two twelve-hour shifts so we have 24-hour coverage and when it starts to come down whether its rain or ice or snow,” Scott said.
Although they will have a full fleet along with the technology there is one challenge he says they face.
“Where is the line between ice and snow and how is that going to move and is the ice going to come in the form of sleet or frozen rain,” Cook said?
He says they are in pretty good shape with staff but are still recruiting for several positions. Every year they start recruiting towards the end of the summer for the winter season.
In addition to snow plowers, they are also hiring mechanics and engineers.
“If you like the thought of being in a snowplow or working outside we have maintenance positions which will drive snowplows during snow and ice season. When its not snowing they will work on the roads and bridges,” Cook said.